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Monday, February 4, 2008

SATELLITE BROADCASTS: Samak raises legal grey area

PM-elect says MVTV should have same right to air policy debate as ASTV while law remains unclear

February 3, 2008

Incoming prime minister Samak Sundara-vej yesterday raised a legal grey area related to satellite television broadcasts.

He said he would allow MVTV, the station run by anti-coup activist Veera Musigapong, to broadcast the upcoming policy debate live, even though the law on the issue remains unclear.

"Although the satellite broadcast is still an unresolved issue, ASTV has received a court injunction to allow the broadcast, pending completion of a judicial review, and MVTV should get the same kind of protection," he said in reference to the litigation involving anti-Thaksin campaigner Sondhi Limthongkul.

Samak said he planned to amend relevant laws in order to clear up legal issues over satellite broadcasts.

He spoke after a meeting with leading activists from the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship, including Veera, Natthawut Saikua and Jatuporn Phromphan.

Veera and his fellow activists spearheaded the launch of satellite station PTV, to counter the anti-Thaksin movement. The station was later transformed to MVTV when crusading against the September 19 coup.

Its activists called on the prime minister to congratulate him on his appointment.

Veera said his meeting with Samak was a courtesy call, and he did not lobby for any positions for his group as alleged by a clique of People Power members of Parliament from the Northeast.

A source said Samak exchanged views with the activists over the position of government spokesman and two deputies.

Jatuporn is tipped to become spokesman and Natthawut a deputy. The two are expected to work under the supervision of designated Prime Minister's Office Minister Jakrapob Penkair, an alliance leader and former spokesman in the Thaksin government.

The Nation

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