With 3 updates: Dual nationality

24 02 2011

School chums Korn and Abhisit

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has been said by red shirt lawyer Robert Amsterdam to hold British citizenship. In The Nation, it is reported thatAbhisit has stated in parliament: “I am a Thai with clear intent not to hold British citizenship…”. The report adds:

Abhisit said he had to apply for entry visa to England just like other Thais and that he did not avail himself of any services such as education reserved for British citizens.

The Election Commission had already ruled out his dual nationality, he added.

The thing that caught PPT’s attention in this response from the premier is that the points he makes have already been canvassed on the blogs and appear to make no difference to his status. For those interested, Bangkok Pundit has the best coverage, here and here.

Update 1: Andrew Spooner has more on this issue at his new blog.

Update 2: It appears that The Nation’s report mentioned above was not entirely accurate. It’s headline was: “PM denies dual nationality.” That now appears to be entirely inaccurate. AP seems to have a more reliable account of Abhisit in parliament. It begins: “Thailand’s prime minister has a confession to make: He is also British.” He acknowledged this in parliament. Bangkok Pundit’s account is shown accurate: “Abhisit automatically holds British citizenship because he was born in Newcastle to parents from a well-to-do Bangkok family. He would have to specifically renounce it to lose it.”

Abhisit is reported to have said: “I admit I have not given up British nationality because it is understood legally that … if the nationality laws are conflicting, Thai law must be used…. My intention is clear. I was born in England but I consider myself a Thai. I studied in England but I intended to return to work and live in Thailand, to work for the country’s interest, and didn’t think of anything else.” Of course, this is Abhisit continuing to dissemble. Thai law does not trump anything in this case.

Abhisit played silly bugger by joking that “he didn’t hide that he supports the Newcastle football club.” The fact is that he initially denied his British citizenship in a way where he couldn’t be pinned down. As the report states, the “prime minister had been evasive about the citizenship question since it was raised about a month ago.”

PPT is not sure why AP adds: “Thailand’s head of state, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, was also born overseas. He was born in 1927 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States, where his father, a prince, was studying medicine.” Is there an implication that the king holds dual citizenship?

Update 3: Bangkok Pundit updates this issue, based on previous posts and the AP story.



One response

25 02 2011
Lese majeste (sort of) debated | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] to post regarding any goings-on in parliament based on The Nation’s assessment following its most recent failure to get anything right…. Yet they have a story that can’t be […]

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