Page 102 of 175 FirstFirst ... 25292949596979899100101102103104105106107108109110112152 ... LastLast
Results 2,526 to 2,550 of 4361
  1. #2526
    Out there...
    StrontiumDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    BKK
    Posts
    40,039
    Bangkok Post : No.1 goal: Pheu Thai will work for the people

    No.1 goal: Pheu Thai will work for the people
    Tackling problems affecting the people will be the Pheu Thai Party's first priority if it assumes power after the election, says the party's No.1 list candidate, Yingluck Shinawatra.

    Ms Yingluck yesterday said that the people would come first and not issuing a blanket amnesty for individuals that had been convicted of political offences to clear the way for her brother, deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, to return to Thailand, as the Democrat Party has suggested.

    She said that her decision to enter the election was driven by determination to serve the people and prioritise which of their problems should be tackled first.

    "I've been saying at every election campaign rally that our first order of business is to solve the people's problems. The media have been covering my campaign and should have heard it," she said.

    The Democrat Party has zeroed in on how the amnesty plan would serve Thaksin and claimed the former prime minister has a four-step strategy to return to power.

    Ms Yingluck also played down Thaksin's remarks that she was his clone.

    "I think it is about ideas and management style, not decision-making," she said.

    Ms Yingluck was referring to Thaksin's interview during which her brother said that she was not his nominee in the election.

    She said that she was happy with the findings of an opinion poll which showed Pheu Thai had a clear lead over the Democrats in Bangkok.

    "Even though there are 20 days to go and the findings reflect opinions [rather than results], I am glad that our party is welcomed by Bangkok voters," she said.

    Meanwhile, an internal popularity poll by the Pheu Thai Party has suggested that its candidates are trailing in 150 constituencies, or about 40% of total constituencies, a party source said.

    The poll was conducted by a private firm which commissioned an opinion survey for the now-dissolved Thai Rak Thai party, said the source.

    The southern region is where Pheu Thai seems to be the least popular.

    According to the source, Ms Yingluck has been advised to help campaign for the candidates who still have a chance of winning.

    Ms Yingluck is making a second visit to the northern region, where she will be helping the candidates' campaigns in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lamphun and Lampang.

    The party expects to win 55 seats out of 67 in the northern region - the same number it won in the previous election.

    In Chiang Mai, which is considered a Pheu Thai stronghold, the party faces a fierce contest in Constituency 5, where Pheu Thai's Prasit Wutnanchai is pitted against Chart Thai Pattana's Krai Daptham, who defected from Ruam Jai Thai Pattana.

    Constituency 10 is also delicate.

    Norapol Tantimontri, who defected from Puea Pandin to the Democrat Party, may be the first Democrat to break ground in Chiang Mai after the party failed to win a single seat in this northern province in the last election, which was held in 2007.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  2. #2527
    Member
    Bettyboo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last Online
    01-09-2017 @ 08:02 PM
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    28,234
    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    People's Network for Election in Thailand
    This name should alone should set alarm bells ringing...

  3. #2528
    Out there...
    StrontiumDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    BKK
    Posts
    40,039
    http://thainews.prd.go.th/en/news.php?id=255406140004

    EC unconcerned over EU observers




    BANGKOK, 14 June 2011 (NNT) – The Election Commission (EC) has voiced no concern after the European Union (EU) announced that it would send representatives to observe the upcoming 3 July general election.

    EC Chairperson Apichart Sukhagganond stated that the EU has already informed him of its intention, and his panel has no problem about EU observers since it is confident that it will be able to handle the election in an internationally accepted manner.

    The chairperson added that apart from the EU, several other organisations have indicated their intention to observe the upcoming general election although the EC has not yet invited them.

    Mr Apichart however stressed that all those organisations coming to observe the upcoming election must comply with the regulations set by the EC. He noted that the permit for EU observers is not made under any agreement or memorandum of understanding.

    Asked whether any problem will arise if the EU does not certify the election result, the chairperson responded that the EU will certainly certify the election result in Thailand because it is arranged with recognizable standards. He reiterated that the observation of foreign representatives will have no binding results to the election.

  4. #2529
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Roiet
    Posts
    25,956
    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    Yingluck Shinawatra, the No 1 Pheu Thai party list candidate, had yet to accept the invitation.
    Nor should she. Dems will use her refusal to debate as a weakness but so be it.

  5. #2530
    Member
    Bettyboo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last Online
    01-09-2017 @ 08:02 PM
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    28,234
    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    EC unconcerned over EU observers
    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    The chairperson added that apart from the EU, several other organisations have indicated their intention to observe the upcoming general election although the EC has not yet invited them.
    I'd be pretty worried about this being a scam because:

    1) I see no comments from the European Union side, other than an allegded source on the nation who was anonymous...

    Here is the homepage of EUEA
    European Union - EEAS (European External Action Service) | EEAS - More news
    Nothing about Thailand thus far.

    2) There is no way, imho (I hope I'm proved wrong), that the army's ego would allow an external monitoring source (it has been suggested many times before and always shot down by the nationalists).

    3) This cannot benefit the army/bluebloods/dems, so they would not allow it.

    4) There have been a couple of groups (which I've highlighted) reported by the army/blueblood controlled media as international 'impartial election monitoring' bodies, but they are nothing other than army/blueblood stooges (well more than that, as they are set up by and run by army folk...) - see 'several other organizations' in the original news report.

    Thus, I'd suggest this is an army/blueblood ploy being set up to kick out the PT winners.

    If the EU release a press release saying that they are sending observers and clearly outline their mandate, that'd be great. Can that be achieved in 2 weeks???

    To me, this looks like massive missinformation, and coming from the EC it's a very bad sign...
    How do I post these pictures???

  6. #2531
    Thailand Expat
    Takeovers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Last Online
    Today @ 04:15 AM
    Location
    Berlin Germany
    Posts
    5,102
    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai
    Those poles that show a large percent of the electorate as being undecided are IMO misleading. I'm quite sure that most people have decided how they are going to vote but do not feel inclined to talk about it. Come the election the government will see to their detriment exactly the low esteem with which they are regarded.
    I have wondered for some time now.

    There are always some undecided. Usually that number drops as the polling date approaches. But the undecided numbers are and remain huge in this election, that makes me think people see reasons not to state their position.

    What could that be and in which direction will they swing? I have an opinion.

  7. #2532
    Out there...
    StrontiumDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    BKK
    Posts
    40,039
    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    You have noticed that the filling out of the forms and then the asking about the vote has this word "and" in between the 2 parts of the sentence. Right. Good. You'll also be aware that a spoken question and reply would be nigh on impossible for a soldier to recall. There is no indication that peoples voting preferences were written down. Thus, where's the intimidation. The peoples voting preference can not be directly linked to them. They have actually nothing to fear. Think about it.
    I have thought about it before I posted. I was aware that it was not in the form. The people who arranged the action are not that stupid. But for intimidation purpose the question is good enough. Think about it.
    I have presented an alternative to the conspiracy theories here. Trusting what a senior Pheu Thai politician, who wasn't a witness to the events, says is i think a most foolish thing to do. I'd say the same about any politician here, they are almost all corrupt or involved in illicit activities. Just look at Suthep!

    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    Add to that this comment by a soldier:
    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    However, some soldiers admitted that it was difficult to convince local people not to support Pheu Thai.
    Then tell me again how this is not an election related action.
    This was taken out of context. The context was vote buying mentioned twice in 2 sentences that preceded this one. Mid chose to ignore this and acted as if it was a total mystery to him. Maybe it was.

  8. #2533
    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    A "non-existent" Thai PsyOps unit
    Posts
    4,550
    Quote Originally Posted by NoBuzz
    Firstly. The sources of my figures vary.
    So you have no idea of the basis for each figure that you have mixed into a comparative table. Not a good start.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoBuzz
    Secondly, my intention was not to make a comparison between Abhisit and Thaksin. It was only to rebut the silly and often heard argument that Abhisit raised military budgets.
    Intended or not, you made that comparison - and on a nonsensical basis leaving out several years of Thaksin's time as PM. That Abhisit did raise the military's budget is self-evident even from the figures you chose.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoBuzz
    When it comes to the democrats and the military I have read about how they historically have worked to minimize the generals involvement in politics. And to decrease the military budgets.
    Any viable/neutral references to back up these claims?

    Quote Originally Posted by NoBuzz
    And because of this I find it somewhat hard to believe that Abhisit and the democrats would decide to become the militarys all-time favourite Santa Claus all of a sudden.
    Never mind the fatuous rhetorical flourish, both The Nation and Bangkok Post (not well known for being anti-Abhisit/Dem) have both published numerous critical articles on this very point - did they slip by you somehow?

    Quote Originally Posted by NoBuzz
    Anyway... that's just my belief.
    To which you're fully entitled. If you want to persuade others to share it or even take it half-seriously then expect to produce a rational argument that takes account of context and uses figures provided by a reputable source preparing/presenting them on a like-for-like basis.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoBuzz
    What is indisputable though is that no sense of gratitude, or link between Abhisit and the generals, can be established or even suggested because of Abhisits millitary budgets.
    Other than the fact that countless writers (including at the very Dem-friendly publications mentioned above) have pointed to exactly that linkage - producing all manner of corroborated detail to make their case. Beyond your "belief", you've "established" nothing that even comes close - never mind "indisputable".
    .

    “.....the world will little note nor long remember what we say here....."

  9. #2534
    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    A "non-existent" Thai PsyOps unit
    Posts
    4,550
    ^^^
    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers
    There are always some undecided. Usually that number drops as the polling date approaches. But the undecided numbers are and remain huge in this election, that makes me think people see reasons not to state their position.
    Yes, they're large but they are dropping - albeit still more slowly than might be expected. Against that, it's easy to forget that there are still nearly three weeks to go. If anything, the swing seems to be more towards PT than to others - but it's not entirely clear whether the movements are substantially from the "undecided" group.

  10. #2535
    Member
    Bettyboo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last Online
    01-09-2017 @ 08:02 PM
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    28,234
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCM
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NoBuzz What is indisputable though is that no sense of gratitude, or link between Abhisit and the generals, can be established or even suggested because of Abhisits millitary budgets.

    Other than the fact that countless writers (including at the very Dem-friendly publications mentioned above) have pointed to exactly that linkage - producing all manner of corroborated detail to make their case. Beyond your "belief", you've "established" nothing that even comes close - never mind "indisputable".
    Even TH would struggle to write the purposefully ideologically manipulative 'posts' that this 'new poster' comes out with... Why bother Steve? This guy/gal has a job to do, let them get on with it, don't give them airtime...

  11. #2536
    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    A "non-existent" Thai PsyOps unit
    Posts
    4,550
    ^Can't disagree - and I thought twice before bothering to make that last response. I'll always try to start by giving people the benefit of the doubt - but many manage to remove that doubt all by themselves.
    Last edited by SteveCM; 14-06-2011 at 03:50 PM. Reason: fixed typo

  12. #2537
    lom
    lom is online now
    we have guns and shit lom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    Today @ 11:11 AM
    Location
    Trapped in an old mans body
    Posts
    7,543
    Quote Originally Posted by Norton
    Dems will use her refusal to debate as a weakness and so is it.
    Fixed that one for you Norton.

  13. #2538
    Member
    Bettyboo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last Online
    01-09-2017 @ 08:02 PM
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    28,234
    ^ the problem is for the dems; they are losing... badly... they now have one tactic: attack the opposition... and that's not working either...

    If only Abhisit had attempted to grow a proper opposition party that had policies and ethics (rather than joining with the army/bluebloods) then this country would be a at far better place today, and the dems might be winning an election.

  14. #2539
    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    A "non-existent" Thai PsyOps unit
    Posts
    4,550
    From New Mandala.....


    Small is beautiful?

    June 14th, 2011 by Aim Sinpeng, Guest Contributor



    Small parties will have a say in the make-up of the new coalition government, should no party gain an absolute majority. Since a minimum-winning coalition formula doesn’t seem to be the normal practice of coalition formation strategy in Thai politics, at least one medium-sized party along with their smaller counterparts will likely be part of the next coalition. Because of the new electoral rules, these parties only need roughly 250,000-300,00 votes to get a party list MP. These small parties represent an appealing alternative to the two major parties for many millions of “undecided” voters, particularly in highly contested areas such as Bangkok.

    Having followed the campaign trail of several parties in the capital city for the past two weeks, I admit I’ve been most entertained by charismatic leaders of the small parties. While these one-man-show parties are clearly riding on the reputation and personality of their leaders, it’s still fruitful to know what they stand for and what role they may play in the next government. Here is my summary analysis of Rak Thailand Party, Rak Santi Party and Matubhum Party.

    ......

    [Worth following that final link to a two-page PDF]

  15. #2540
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Roiet
    Posts
    25,956
    Prior to the 2006 coup, Thaksin created a Mega Project budget worth 1.7 trillion baht. It contained all sorts of infrastructure development projects. What was little published is all new procurement items for the military where put into the Mega Project budget list. Mega Projects approval were subject to close scrutiny and approval by the government. This of course did not make the military happy as before they pretty much controlled procurement of military items.

    After the coup, the military government "slashed" the Mega Project budget a great deal by only approving 165 billion baht by 2012 to build five mass transit systems in Bangkok needed to ease congestion and spur economic growth.

    At the same time all military new procurement budgets were removed from Mega Project list and put back under MoD control. So now the question is were the new military procurement items in Mega Project list factored into "defense spending" or is the 2007 spike due to moving budgets back to MoD? Hard to tell but there appears to be a correlation.

    "Nov. 10, 2006 (Bloomberg) -- Thailand, where the military took power in September, will avoid more debt by cutting the ousted government's planned 1.7 trillion baht ($46 billion) mega- projects budget.

    The interim government will push ahead with five mass transit systems in the capital Bangkok, a water pipeline and irrigation systems to mitigate flooding and drought, and develop railways and canals for freight transport, Finance Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula told an open forum business conference in the capital today.

    "All other projects are not economically feasible,'' Pridiyathorn, who was central bank governor until he was appointed finance minister last month, said. He didn't specify which projects would be eliminated or how much would be cut from the spending plan"


    Thailand Slashes Thaksin's $46 Billion Mega-Projects Budget - Bloomberg
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  16. #2541
    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    A "non-existent" Thai PsyOps unit
    Posts
    4,550
    Bangkok Post : Dems to 'win 9 of 11 seats' in far South

    Breakingnews > The Democrat Party is confident that it will win at least 9 of the 11 seats up for grabs in the three southernmost provinces in the July 3 election, citing the popularity of the party and its candidates in the region.

    Democrat list candidate Nipon Boonyamanee, who supervises the party’s election campaign in the far South, said on Tuesday the Democrat candidates contesting the 11 constituencies in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat provinces were being warmly received by local residents.

    Many voters in the deep South wanted to vote for the Democrats as they wanted party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva to win a second term as prime minister so he would continue his policies to douse the southern fire, said Mr Nopon, citing the latest opinion poll results in the region.

    He expected his party to win at least 9 seats Key party figures would take part in the election campaign to boost its candidates' chances of a clean sweep, said Mr Nipon.

    ‘’Many residents still have faith and confidence in the Democrat Party and party chief adviser Chuan Leekpai as the Democrats are determined to tackle the unrest in the deep South.

    "As soon as Mr Chuan completes his task in the North, he will visit the three southernmost provinces and four districts in Songkhla by the end of this month,’’ said Mr Nipon.

  17. #2542
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Roiet
    Posts
    25,956
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCM
    The Democrat Party is confident that it will win at least 9 of the 11 seats up for grabs in the three southernmost provinces in the July 3 election, citing the popularity of the party and its candidates in the region.
    Likely the case. PTP needs to make the attempt for political reasons but not much return in votes.

  18. #2543
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Last Online
    08-08-2012 @ 04:51 PM
    Location
    วิทติง
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    He seems to be one who makes a genuine effort. Doesn't mean I agree with him.
    Thanks for that.

  19. #2544
    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    A "non-existent" Thai PsyOps unit
    Posts
    4,550
    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCM
    The Democrat Party is confident that it will win at least 9 of the 11 seats up for grabs in the three southernmost provinces in the July 3 election, citing the popularity of the party and its candidates in the region.
    Likely the case. PTP needs to make the attempt for political reasons but not much return in votes.
    I tend to agree on both counts - certainly she can't not go. But don't forget the list votes also add up..... and PT's Pattani City proposal (flatly dismissed by Mark) may yet turn up some surprises in the three provinces.

    ........

    Yingluck visits Democrat's stronghold for the first time



    14 June 2011

    By The Nation


    Pheu Thai No 1party list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra on Tuesday visited for the first time the southern region, a long-time stronghold of Democrat party.

    Yingluck, who is challenging the premiership in the upcoming election, arrived in the southernmost province of Yala at about 11am where she was welcomed by her party candidates and local residents.

    She was wearing a red hijab and white jacket. Her party is known to comprise many candidates, both party list and constituency, who are leaders of the red shirt movement.

    The movement is known to support her brother; Thaksin Shinawatra, who fled a two-year jail term and has been living in self-imposed exile in the Middle East.

    Many Thai-Muslim women, also wearing red hijabs, called her Yamilah, which means beautiful woman.

    In her 15-minute speech, Yingluck talked about the party's solution to the southern crisis, which has seen much violence and death.

    She reiterated that the one of the solutions to the problem is to encourage public participation in the decision making process. "Our party will increase quotas of Thai-Muslims going on the pilgrimage to Mecca and increase the elders' fund," she said.

    She denied allegations that her party's candidates competing in some southern provinces cooperated with insurgents to launch the attacks.

  20. #2545
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Last Online
    08-08-2012 @ 04:51 PM
    Location
    วิทติง
    Posts
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCM View Post
    "Our party will increase quotas of Thai-Muslims going on the pilgrimage to Mecca"
    Wow! Clever. And disgusting.

  21. #2546
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Roiet
    Posts
    25,956
    Quote Originally Posted by NoBuzz
    Wow! Clever. And disgusting.
    Politics in action.

    A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage – Herbert Hoover

  22. #2547
    Thailand Expat
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Last Online
    06-02-2017 @ 01:18 PM
    Location
    Bangkok Thailand
    Posts
    2,232
    Always interesting to read articles that actually discuss what is going on in the campaigns rather the just the fluff of stage managed appearances of the main party list candidates.
    TH

    Ex-Wadah members fight under new flags



    Former key figures of the defunct influential Wadah political faction are now fighting fiercely under different banners to win the July 3 race in the far South.

    Competition among the former Wadah members is intensifying, particularly in Pattani, a province divided into four constituencies.

    Veteran politician Den Tomeena, founder of the Wadah group is this time running under the party list system for the Matubhum Party led by Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, the former chief of the Council for National Security which engineered the Sept 19, 2006 coup.

    The toughest fight of all appears to be in Constituency 4 where up to three former Wadah politicians are competing.
    They are Muk Suleiman, a former MP for Pattani now running under the Matubhum banner; Sudin Phuyutthanon who now represents the Pheu Thai Party; and Sommut Benchalak who runs for the Bhumjaithai Party.

    However, Zata Akuechi of the Democrats is being seen as the leading candidate in this constituency.

    In Constituency 2, former Wadah member Isma-al Benibrohim, a former Democrat MP and a brother-in-law of Mr Den, is competing with Muhammad Hayiwaehama from Prachatham.

    Although Mr Isma-al is expected to win the race once again, Mr Muhammad who used to be a provincial Wadah leader in Pattani, cannot be overlooked.

    In Constituency 3, Nimukta Waba, also a former Pattani Wadah leader, is competing with Abdulraman Mayuzo, another former Wadah member of the Democrats. But Anumat Zuzaro from Matubhum is expected to win here.

    Only Arun Benchalak, a former Wadah key figure who now runs for Bhumjaithai in Constituency 1, does not have to battle with other Wadah friends.

    But his chances of winning against Sanit Nawae from Matubhum, who has served as a leading canvasser for several political parties in the past, look slim.

    In Narathiwat's Constituency 1, Matubhum candidate Phaisal Toyip is drawing away from the other five candidates and is expected to become the winner in this constituency.

    Surachet Wae-azae from the Democrats, is only slightly ahead of the other two key rivals, Samattha Walong from Matubhum and Sitthiphan Sirikanon from Pheu Thai in Constituency 2.
    Najmuddin Uma, from Matubhum who won in this area in the 2007 election, is expected to win a landslide victory in Constituency 3,

    In Constituency 4, the Democrats' Che-aming Totayong is slightly ahead in terms of poll popularity.

  23. #2548
    Mid
    Mid is offline
    Thailand Expat
    Mid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    1,415
    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    Mid chose to ignore this and acted as if it was a total mystery to him. Maybe it was.
    Liar

  24. #2549
    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    A "non-existent" Thai PsyOps unit
    Posts
    4,550
    Thaksin Shinawatra’s sister is front-runner to become Thai leader - The Washington Post



    View Photo Gallery —  Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, set out to revive another family enterprise: running Thailand.


    By Andrew Higgins,
    Published: June 13


    BANGKOK — Thais usually celebrate Songkran, the country’s traditional new year festival, by tossing water and visiting Buddhist temples. Wealthy businesswoman Yingluck Shinawatra marked the April holiday by flying to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to visit her fugitive older brother, Thailand’s ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

    “He is my brother . . . so I have to pay respects to him,” the 43-year-old executive said in an interview.

    After returning to Bangkok, Yingluck announced that she would quit her job as head of SC Asset Corp., a successful property company majority-owned by her relatives. She then set out to revive another family enterprise: running Thailand, America’s oldest ally in Asia.

    Advised by her brother — who was toppled from power in a 2006 military coup — Yingluck is the front-runner to become Thailand’s next prime minister after elections July 3.

    Widely seen as a referendum on Thaksin, the upcoming vote is reviving passions that a year ago turned central Bangkok into a war zone when the army moved in to dislodge his “red shirt” fans from the city’s ritziest shopping district.

    Although initially dismissed as a novice, Yingluck has run a skillful campaign, and the prospect of her taking the job snatched from her brother has raised the question of whether, as in the past, Thaksin’s enemies might try to overturn an election result that they don’t like through military intervention or judicial maneuvers.

    “I want to see the positive side and I don’t want that to happen,” said Yingluck, who was selected last month to head a list of candidates put forward by the pro-Thaksin opposition party, Pheu Thai, which means “For Thais.” She urged other countries to follow the elections and make sure that authorities “respect the Thai people’s decision. If they don’t respect [the results], democracy won’t come back in Thailand.”

    The looming showdown has put Washington in a bind. It supports democracy but worries that the elections could presage yet more instability in this economically vibrant but politically fractured Southeast Asian nation. “It’s a very complex period in Thailand,” Kurt Campbell, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian affairs, said in Washington late last month.

    Thailand has had 18 coups, 23 military governments and nine military-dominated governments since it became a constitutional monarchy in 1932. But the military, which holds regular exercises with U.S. forces, has shown little appetite for a repeat of last year’s bloodshed, in which at least 90 people died, and has vowed to stay out of the upcoming elections.

    Still, Thaksin’s opponents last week launched a legal challenge to try to derail his sister’s campaign. They accused her of lying to Thailand’s Supreme Court to help her brother retain a portion of his assets. Yingluck’s party responded by filing a defamation suit.

    Amnesty question
    Revered by his supporters, particularly in Thailand’s poorer regions, but loathed by conservative forces in the military, political elite and royal court, Thaksin is such a divisive figure that his sister has sought to balance appeals to the family’s devoted political base with assurances that she is not seeking revenge. In carefully scripted speeches and media interviews, she has mostly stuck to platitudes.

    A Western diplomat with long experience on Thailand likened her to Sarah Palin, “but with the sense to keep her mouth shut and avoid gaffes.” She declined to take part in a debate with her main opponent, Thailand’s current prime minister, Oxford-educated Abhisit Vejjajiva, and spent her time touring the country, wooing voters with her photogenic good looks, soothing tone and expansive appeals to both Thailand’s poor and its business community.

    Speaking at Pheu Thai’s Bangkok headquarters, Yingluck said she had no immediate plans to pursue amnesty for her brother, who was convicted of corruption in 2008 and is also wanted in Thailand on terrorism charges relating to a wave of arson attacks and violence during the army’s assault last year on anti-government “red shirt” demonstrators. Thaksin, from his refuge in Dubai, has dismissed both cases as politically motivated.

    A former tycoon who made billions of dollars in telecommunications and other ventures, Thaksin first came to power in 2001 with a big majority and, as Thailand’s self-styled “CEO prime minister,” shook up the bureaucracy and guided the country to an economic boom. But he alienated the traditional establishment and parts of the middle class by reaching out to rural voters scorned by many Bangkok elite and by displaying increasing and sometimes brutal intolerance of those he viewed as enemies.

    Many Thais, said Yingluck, want Thaksin “to come home because he did many good things for the country.” But she added: “We have to move the country forward, to unite Thailand. Amnesty will be after that. If we do apply an amnesty, Dr. Thaksin will get the same treatment as any other” in a possible general pardon to reconcile rival camps.

    Similar thinking
    Yingluck, a mother of one who studied in Kentucky, said she speaks with her brother, who is 18 years her senior, by telephone “quite often” but denied that he is orchestrating her campaign. She said that Thaksin “gives some good ideas” but that “I decided myself” to run for election and “he supported this.”

    Her opponents scoff at such assertions. “Why did she go into politics?’’ said Kraisak Choonhavan, deputy leader of the ruling Democrat Party. “She is probably one of the richest women in Asia. She has it all, so why go through this? Because big brother asked her to.’’

    Yingluck’s campaign leaflets boast of Thaksin’s role: “Thaksin Thinks, Pheu Thai Does,” reads a party slogan. Thaksin, in a recent interview with Australian television, described his sister as his “clone.”

    Yingluck said this doesn’t make her Thaksin’s puppet but means only that they share “the same logical thinking. . . . He taught me on the business side. If he says one word, I understand how he thinks.”

    Like her billionaire brother, Yingluck is skilled at connecting with Thais at the opposite end of the economic and social scale. She promises credit cards for farmers, debt relief and better health care. “Just because you have money, it doesn’t mean you don’t understand” poor people, she said. She also appeals to business, promising lower corporate taxes and a high-speed rail network.

    Kraisak acknowledged that Yingluck was running a good campaign and had made things “very difficult” for his Democrat Party’s electoral chances. Her brother, he added, “is relentless.”

  25. #2550
    The Pikey Hunter
    Gerbil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Roasting a Hedgehog
    Posts
    12,357
    Waiting for the next campaign promises....

    "One village, one free farang husband/ATM"
    "We'll match any other party's policy with a *slightly* better one"
    "One farmer, one buffalo" (Oh no, they (TRT) did that one already didnt they? All that resulted was about 5 gallons of imported buffalo spunk and a huge bill for the taxpayer )
    "Free driving lessons!" (Nah, that will never catch on )
    "Vote for me, here's 200 baht." (The old ones work the best)
    You, sir, are a God among men....
    Short Men, who aren't terribly bright....
    More like dwarves with learning disabilities....
    You are a God among Dwarves With Learning Disabilities.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 2 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 2 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •