1. #2951
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog View Post
    [... people died there.

    ...
    Actually nobody died at the intersection itself which was the site of the main stage. By the time the Army got there in late afternoon, this is what was there.
    TH


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    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
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    From Twitter today:

    TAN_Network TAN News Network

    Democrats to hold major campaign rally at Songkhla Nakarin Univ's stadium in Songkhla this evening with Abhisit, Chuan, Suthep, Banyat, etc

    4 hours ago

    .......


    I wonder if "major" is bigger or smaller than "mass"? As noted previously, the Dems' last (and so far only, I think) "mass" rally in BKK drew all of 2,000.....
    .

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

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    Democrats head south

    20 June 2011

    By The Nation


    Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva will today travel to campaign in the southern region, which traditionally has been main stronghold of his party.

    Abhisit and core party members including party advisory chief Chuan Leekpai and Banyat Banthatan, will start the campaign in Songkhla today. He is scheduled to campaign in Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani later.

    This is the first time the party is conducting a mass rally in the region in advance of the July 3 general election.

    The mass rally in Songkhla will start in the evening at a Prince of Songkhla University football field with Banyat analysing the political situation over the past few years. Abhisit will take the stage at 8pm and talk about the party's policy for the people.

    Chuan, an exPM, will talk about the "Thaksin Regime" and the party's secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban will then give a speech titled "Don't allow anyone to burn the country."

    After the rally, Abhisit will stay in a Hat Yai hotel. This is the first time he is staying overnight in the southern region.

  4. #2954
    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
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    ^^
    Quote Originally Posted by The Nation
    The mass rally in Songkhla....
    OK - seems to be not much difference between "major" and "mass".....

    Quote Originally Posted by The Nation
    Chuan, an exPM, will talk about the "Thaksin Regime" and the party's secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban will then give a speech titled "Don't allow anyone to burn the country."
    Lucky Suthep - he gets to work in a book promotion. Maybe that's also the real reason for choosing Rachaprasong next Thursday - close to the bookstores?


    BTW,
    Quote Originally Posted by The Nation
    Democrats head south
    - unintentional irony from The Notion?

  5. #2955
    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
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    Yingluck says she cannot tell red shirts to stop bullying Abhisit

    20 June 2011

    By The Nation



    Pheu Thai prime ministerial candidate Yingluck Shinawatra said Monday that she cannot tell the red-shirt people to stop protesting against Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva during campaign rallies.

    She said the Pheu Thai did not send the red-shirt people to bully Abhisit and she could not tell the red-shirt people to stop.

    She said she learned about the red-shirt people's bullying Abhisit in Samut Prakan Monday morning after the incident took place on Sunday.

    Yingluck insisted that she wanted to see constructive election campaigns so that the country could leave the election conflicts behind after the election.

    She said she would like to call on all sides to exercises their utmost patience and express their feelings through the vote on 3 July.

    Asked whether she felt discouraged following relentless criticisms by the Democrat Party, Yingluck said she was not discouraged and still wanted to serve and solve the people and lead the country out of the conflicts.

    On Sunday, Abhisit called on Yingluck to tell the red-shirt people to stop bullying him after his campaign in Samut Prakan was curt short.

    Abhisit went to Samut Prakan to help a Democrat candidate campaign but he met several groups of red-shirt people carrying banners to protest him and shouted abusive words at him.

    About 200 red-shirt people gathered at a market where Abhisit would make a speech, prompting him to cancel his campaign there.

    Abhisit said Monday that he was disappointed that Yingluck would not take any action to ensure that the red-shirt people would stop bullying other parties.

    Abhisit said it was clear that those who bullied him during the campaign in Samut Prakan turned up to show support for the Pheu Thai.

    "They did not only protest but they also came to support the Pheu Thai," Abhisit said.

    "I am disappointed to hear Yingluck say she can't do anything because red-shirt leaders are among Pheu Thai party-list candidates. If the they can't do anything, the situation will be very worrying."

    Abhisit said Yingluck should have at least expressed her stand that she disagreed with the behaviors that disrupted election campaigns of other parties.

    Meanwhile, Sutthipol Thaweechaikarn, the secretary-general of the EC Office, said he had instructed the EC officials in Samut Prakan to conduct an investigation as to whether the disruption of the campaign by the red-shirt people violated Article 53 of the MPs and Senators Election Act or not.

    The article prohibited anyone from using force or influence to intimidate election candidates.

    Sutthipol said the Samut Prakan election officials informed him that no violence took place and no election candidate filed a complaint with the Samut Prakan election office.

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    Abhisit 'disappointed' over Yingluck's inaction

    Abhisit 'disappointed' over Yingluck's inaction

    Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said Monday that he was disappointed that Pheu Thai prime ministerial candidate Yingluck Shinawatra would not take any action to ensure that the red-shirt people would stop bullying other parties.

    Abhisit said it was clear that those who bullied him during the campaign in Samut Prakan turned up to show support for the Pheu Thai.

    "They did not only protest but they also came to support the Pheu Thai," Abhisit said.

    "I am disappointed to hear Yingluck say she can't do anything because red-shirt leaders are among Pheu Thai party-list candidates. If the they can't do anything, the situation will be very worrying."

    Abhisit said Yingluck should have at least expressed her stand that she disagreed with the behaviors that disrupted election campaigns of other parties.
    "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

  7. #2957
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    Thai-ASEAN News Network

    Why An Unusual Number of Voters Remain Undecided

    UPDATE : 20 June 2011

    All opinion polls recently conducted have suggested that the number of the undecided voters in the upcoming election could be as high as between 30 to 40 percent. This is a very interesting occurrence. A question must be asked to why there could be so many undecided voters or why they cannot make up their minds?

    I believe that the main reason is “reluctance” brought by their fear that neither of the two major political parties could solve the country’s problems. Most importantly, they might have a doubt as to whether the country can really be peaceful again after the poll.

    This has clearly demonstrated that the Thai voter with no political reference who does not want to pick sides, is having second thoughts on the conflicting parties’ plans to bring the true national reconciliation. To forge a feasible reconciliation, all sides must make sacrifices for the common good. By continuing to resort to the political mudslinging as everyone has been doing, reconciliation will never happen.

    If peace is not guaranteed even with the upcoming election, Thai people will remain distrustful to the current democratic system.

    Surely, no one wants to see another military coup which could be disastrous to the country. We also need to ask why only a few thousand politicians who are fighting for power could deteriorate the country to this point.

    When dictatorship is condemned and the democratic system has not been able to save the country, a large number of voters have become undecided. Their faith on the candidates has been ruined.

    Another reason why some people chose to be undecided is that they are concerned that by choosing one major political party, another party may be enraged and start up more trouble. Some voters are afraid that the Democrat Party will never be able to win a commanding number of MPs in Parliament and as a result, it may have to please the smaller parties with trade-offs in order to hold up the coalition. Many people are simply sick and tired.

    On the other hand, there is the Pheu Thai Party, whose primary campaign promise is to bring political amnesty for one particular person, which might lead to more problems.

    Some people also fear the politicians are only aiming for power that they have forgotten the “sportsmanship” and unwilling to accept defeat quietly.

    All of the reasons mentioned might be the cause to why some voters have written Thailand off after the poll.

    Conversely, there are “decided voters”, who have been voting according to their party affiliations from the beginning. These people do not care about what is right or wrong as long as their candidates are elected to power.

    Many newspapers have such headlines” “The Private Sector Concerned about Situation after Election” or “Businesses Fear Poll Result will Affect Investors’ Confidence.” Some foreign press believe that Thailand may be in another round of chaos after the poll.

    Thai politics is at the edge of a cliff. Most people may have already chosen sides, but what about the rest of us?

    Taken from Kafae Dam Column by Suthichai Yoon, Krung Thep Turakij Newspaper, Page 2, June 20, 2011

    Translated and Rewritten by Kongkrai Maksrivorawan
    Last edited by StrontiumDog; 20-06-2011 at 05:58 PM.

  8. #2958
    Mid
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    poor Abhisit ,

    cry me a river

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    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
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    In the absence of someone actually producing clear/real evidence of real campaign disruption (i.e. something beyond ladies holding up cardboard signs and calling things out or even - oh the horror - using a loudhailer), I can see some ordinary Thai folk thinking that all this bleating about "bullying" is just making Abhisit look weak - a wimp. The Thai seem to like their leaders to show strength and capability (even at the expense of corruption and skullduggery) - not whine on about "it's not fair".

    By real campaign disruption, I mean something rather more than you'll see in this news report:

    And, yes - I know it's from "Democracy News Network". The point is that so far there doesn't seem to be any video/photographic evidence of worse elsewhere. Anyone seen any?
    Last edited by SteveCM; 20-06-2011 at 05:58 PM.

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    As I suggested earlier....

    Bangkok Post : EC probing Samut Prakan heckling

    EC probing Samut Prakan heckling

    The election committee of Samut Prakan province has been ordered to investigate the heckling of a Democrat Party campaign team by red-shirt supporters on Sunday, EC secretary-general Suthipol Taweechaikarn said on Monday.

    The Democrat team led by Abhisit Vejjajiva had to call off campaigning for fear the party's own supporters would clash with the red-shirts.

    Mr Suthipol said the provincial election committee was to find out if the red-shirts had acted in a threatening manner in violation of Article 53 (5) of the Election Act.

    "Protesters may raise placards attacking the government, but if they obstruct people campaigning then police can arrest them," he said.

    Mr Suthipol said the EC was concerned about the situation during the 13 days remaining before the election and would like all parties to be more amicable towards each other.

  11. #2961
    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
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    Suan Dusit Poll shows Puea Thai takes large lead | Asian Correspondent

    By Bangkok Pundit
    Jun 20, 2011


    In the lead-up to the July 3 election, BP has blogged on a number of polls as follows (from oldest to newest):
    • The E-san poll, as blogged about here and here, which surveyed all 20 provinces in the Northeast which looked at who those surveyed would cast their party vote for (Puea Thai 63.9%, Democrats, 20.7%, and Bhum Jai Thai, 9.1%),
    • Nationwide NIDA poll which looked at who people would cast their constituency vote for (Puea Thai 23%, Democrats 20%, Bhum Jai Thai 3%, undecided 53%),
    • Nationwide Suan Dusit poll which showed who people would cast their party vote for (Puea Thai 41%, Democrats 37%, Bhum Jai Thai 4% OR if you remove the undecideds and those who will vote no you get Puea Thai 45%, Democrats 41%, Bhum Jai Thai 4%),
    • Bangkok-only DPU poll which showed that Puea Thai would win 19 constituencies, Democrats 5 and the rest were too close to call, and
    • Nationwide Suan Dusit poll which showed who people would cast their party vote for (Puea Thai 43%, Democrats 37%, Bhum Jai Thai 3% OR if you remove the undecideds and those who will vote no you get Puea Thai 47%, Democrats 41%, Bhum Jai Thai 3%),
    • Poll of the Lower North showing how people would cast their party vote for (Puea Thai 23.2%, Democrats 22.2%, 4.5% for other parties, and 50.1% were undecided),
    • Nationwide NIDA poll which looked at who people would cast their constituency vote for (Puea Thai 22%, Democrats 13%, undecided 64%) and party vote (Puea Thai 23%, Democrats 13%, undecided 64%),
    • Nationwide Bangkok-only DPU Poll which shows that Puea Thai is leading in the constituency vote 47% to Dems 40% and party vote 47% to Dems 39%, and
    • a Bangkok University poll that showed that Puea Thai is leading 33.6% to 17.6% for the Democrats in Bangkok for the party vote.
    BP: BP has posted about the accuracy of Thai polls and the problem of using a single poll – hence why we have the above refresher which will be included and updated for future posts on polls. Polls may be poorly worded and not so reflective of those who will vote on July 3, but they are no data points and together with other information we can use them to evaluate.

    Suan Dusit have now released a large nationwide poll (PDF) which surveyed more than 102,994 people in all 375 constituencies nationwide. The survey is only of who people will case their party vote for. The survey was conducted June 4-18. No survey data methodology is available online and there is only one question.

    Q1. Who will you cast your party vote for?

    However, the “Vote No” will not be counted when deciding how to divide up seats and if you remove the “Vote No” and the “Undecided” (thus, assuming that no party gains more than the other parties) and you get the below chart:

    Then, if you compare last week’s Suan Dusit poll to this one for the Democrats and Puea Thai (this is with the ‘no vote’ and undecideds included):



    Then, if you compare last week’s Suan Dusit poll to this one for the Democrats and Puea Thai (this is with the ‘no vote’ and undecideds excluded):



    BP
    : BP has a few points as per below:

    1. The poll is good news for Puea Thai and bad for the Democrats. Puea Thai’s margin over the Democrats has increased from 5.5% to 17.5%. There is no other way to sum up the bad news for the Democrats. Even if the poll undersamples those in the South, it also undersamples voters in the North and the Northeast, and oversamples voters in the Central Region where the Democrats do comparatively better so if anything this poll is slightly more favorable to the Democrats.

    NOTE: On undersampling, the North is about 19% of Thailand’s total population and the Northeast 33% yet 52% of those surveyed are not from the North and Northeast.

    On the raw numbers including ‘no vote’ and undecideds, Puea Thai have gone from 43% to 52% whereas the Democrats have dropped from 37.45% to 34.05% compared with the previous Suan Dusit poll released May 29.

    The ironic thing about all of this is that the electoral system was changed to increase the number of party list MPs from 80 to 125 MPs and this would help the Democrats as they did comparatively better for the party vote in 2007 and were expected to do the same this time around. The latest Suan Dusit poll says this is not panning out as planned (for now) and the change is not helping the Democrats…

    2. Puea Thai have surged in Bangkok from 36% to 52% (raw numbers) whereas the Democrats have dropped from 39% to 34%. If the Democrats cannot win Bangkok, it is virtually impossible that they can form the next government. Together, with the other recent polls looking at all 33 constituency seats, the Democrats have a lot of ground to make up. Hence, this is one reason why they have gone more negative in recent days against Puea Thai. They can no longer afford to play it safe so have gone for a high-risk, high-reward strategy.

    3. The beacon of hope for the Democrats is that they are doing comparatively better in the North – rise from 14.66% to 31.49% – although if BP was to take an educated guess that one reason is that the latest poll is more reflective of regions as a whole given it surveyed all 375 constituencies and was not just of certain provinces or certain areas within provinces where support between the Democrats and Puea Thai can vary dramatically. Note: the same goes for the Democrats doing “worse” in the Northeast when in fact the latest poll is probably a more accurate reflection of the entire Northeast and hence they are not doing that much worse – see how the vote totals between May 23 and May 29 for Puea Thai and the Democrats in the North and the Northeast vary so much.

    Essentially, Puea Thai are doing much better than the Democrats because of their lead in Bangkok and the Central Regions.

    4. On the low number of undecideds compared to previous polls, there is note at the end of the poll stating that if those polled gave the answer “undecided” (“ผู้ที่ยังไม่ตัดสินใจ”), “unsure/wavering on who to vote for” (“ผู้ที่ลังเลว่าจะเลือกใคร”), and those who said they “wouldn’t say” (“ผู้ที่ไม่ยอมบอก”), that the person who was surveying then asked the person surveyed who they were voting for. The note says this was done to provide a clearer picture.

    In polling parlance, these people are called ‘leaners’ (amongst other names). Ideally, the poll would have done two graphs: one including leaners and one that didn’t. This would be useful to see the solid vote for each of the parties as well as who leaners were intending to vote for. Of course, by there very nature ‘leaners’ can be persuaded to change their vote so the Democrats still have some hope to reverse the gap…

    5. On undecideds, a recent report (PDF) from Credit Suisse First Boston notes on page 4:
    Edge to Suan Dusit

    That said, we give the most weight to the Suan Dusit polls. Suan Dusit has campuses throughout the country and is able to send students to conduct surveys in remote provinces. Suan Dusit’s sample sizes are by far the largest (Figure 8). We suspect that one reason why Suan Dusit shows much lower levels of undecided voters than NIDA is that NIDA interviews by phone while Suan Dusit interviews in person.

    BP: Actually, the whole report is interesting although disagree with the analysis in parts – that is for a post for another day – but perhaps people are more trusting to tell students (who one assumes are in uniform) and who are local compared to someone telephoning from Bangkok.

    Having said, the latest NIDA poll (post to come!) which usually shows a much higher number of undecideds than Suan Dusit polls, has undecideds dropping from around 50% to less than 30% so it is clear that more people are making up their minds.

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    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
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    Bangkok Post : PT: Dem rally is provocativeThe Democrat Party's planned mass rally at Ratchaprasong intersection on Thursday is intended to provoke the red-shirts come out on the streets, because the prime minister's party knows it is now the underdog, Pheu Thai deputy leader Plodprasop Surasawadee said on Monday.

    Mr Plodprasop said that Pheu Thai would not respond and would make any move to counter the rally. It would let the people to see for themselves that the Democrat Party lacks a mature approach, he said.

    The party had discussed this matter with leaders of the red-shirts and decided it would not do anything to counter the rally.

    However, some "ghosts" of red-shirt victims of the crackdown might turn up at the rally site, he said.

    Asked about Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva's call for Pheu Thai's Yingluck Shinawatra to tell the red-shirts to stop harassing him, Mr Plodprasop said the party did not know if the hecklers were genuine or not.

    If Ms Yingluck fell into his trap by telling the red-shirts to stop, the Democrat Party would take it for granted that she had admitted they were genuine red-shirts and submit a petition seeking Pheu Thai's dissolution, he said.

    Ms Yingluck said earlier today she could not order the people what to do and what not to do, brushing aside Mr Abhisit's call. Mr Abhisit said later that he was disappointed to hear her say so.

    On Pheu Thai de facto leader Thaksin Shinawatra's media interview that he would returned to Thailand to attend the wedding of his daughter Pinthongta this December, Mr Plodprasop said it was normal for a father to have said that.

    "Nobody can say if he will really return. All we can say is that amnesty will be the last thing Pheu Thai will seek. This may involve legal procedures," Mr Plodprasop said.

    The Pheu Thai deputy leader claimed the party had received complaints from abroad that voting ballots issued to them were difficult to read. The complainants also said the ballots were difficult to mark and the ink tended to disappear.

    He and other core party members would seek a meeting with the Election Commission tomorrow to lodge a complaint and ask to see the ballots.

    He remained confident that Pheu Thai would be victorious in the election.

    Ms Yingluck might unveil some important policies at the end of the campaign, Mr Plodprasop added.

  13. #2963
    Mid
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCM
    If Ms Yingluck fell into his trap by telling the red-shirts to stop, the Democrat Party would take it for granted that she had admitted they were genuine red-shirts and submit a petition seeking Pheu Thai's dissolution, he said.
    Advantage Poo


    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCM
    Ms Yingluck said earlier today she could not order the people what to do and what not to do, brushing aside Mr Abhisit's call. Mr Abhisit said later that he was disappointed to hear her say so.
    Ace ..................

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    Bangkok Post : Chartthaipattana lowers its hopesThe Chartthaipattana Party has significantly lowered its target of between 30 and 35 MPs, admitting it cannot compete with Pheu Thai's popularity in the Northeast.

    Estimated support had fallen by 5% to 10%, said party leader Chumpol Silpa-archa, admitting that in Pheu Thai's Isan stronghold only the party's candidate in Ubon Ratchathani, Tun Chittawet, still had a good chance to snatch victory.
    Most constituency seats would come from Chartthaipattana’s traditional political base in Suphan Buri and nearby provinces in the Central Region, he said, but did not give a figure.

    In the party list competition, Mr Chumpol said, it was possible that only he and chief adviser Sanan Kachornprasart would manage to secure House seats. For now, his party could not even beat the popularity of the new Rak Thailand Party led by Chuwit Kamolvisit, he said.

    Chartthaipattana planned to work on bolstering its popularity by holding more frequent election campaign rallies in Suphan Buri and Bangkok.

    But “somethings cannot be changed,” Mr Chumpol admitted, describing the election as one of the toughest political races in his life.

  15. #2965
    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    Advantage Poo
    Tsk, tsk Mid. Pou, if you please....

    Actually, on second thoughts, as you were - then I can go on using "Mark" with a clear conscience.

    Only fair.

    BTW, right on about how she played the balls - good team around her. Bet Mark wishes he had a few.....

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    Thailand Expat SteveCM's Avatar
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    Wouldn't want to be accused of [cough] "disingenuously" not posting a relevant Richard Barrow Tweet..... This from Twitter today:

    RichardBarrow Richard Barrow
    EC to investigate red-shirts' disruption of Abhisit's campaign in Samut Prakan yesterday (TAN) => Surely that's a joke?
    1 hour ago


    And, for the sake of completeness and transparency, my response to it:

    SteveInCM Steve F [at]
    [at]RichardBarrow Nobody's laughing, Richard - even if it IS all a pantomime.....
    1 hour ago

  17. #2967
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    BTW, right on about how she played the balls - good team around her. Bet Mark wishes he had a few..... [/quote]

    Bet he'd settle for two..

  18. #2968
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveCM
    Puea Thai’s margin over the Democrats has increased from 5.5% to 17.5%. There is no other way to sum up the bad news for the Democrats.
    Indeed troubling for Dems. A lot of numbers and difficult to analyze without details of each poll but first time we are seeing numbers over 50% (51.6, 53.6) voting for PT. If there is a correlation to number of seats then, PT will get 258 to 268.

    If the number nears 60% by election date the Dems will be lucky to get 150 seats with 50 going to smaller parties. It seems to look more and more like PT does not have to worry about forming a coalition.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

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    No hope for the dems - army to lay a few bombs out over the next ten days then; cancel the elections...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    No hope for the dems - army to lay a few bombs out over the next ten days then; cancel the elections...
    A coup is in order.
    Get your tickets today.

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    ^ The problem is, they've miscalculated again...

    They thought the dems would do enough, along with a few EC bans and cooperative minor parties to wrap things up again. They even thought (are probably still thinking) that they can ban the PT if they need to (several pathetic seeds laid already) via the CC. They were probably prepared to go for a coup if needed, but with the way the numbers are playing, especially in Bangkok - if PT get anything like a decent showing amongst the Bangkok folk then it's very very hard to conduct a 'soft' coup, so that leaves the option of a violent coup against half of Bangkok and more than half of the nation; not sure that'll be easy...

    Every one knows that bombs going off now or violence at dem rallies will be all army/PAD/dems ordered and managed, so even that doesn't look like it'll work.

    A lot of people are working very hard to make sure the numbers are out day by day (BP for example) and PT are closely monitoring the election stations.

    What can the army do; Abhisit/Suthep have really let them down with their awful showing, and it's getting worse day by day.

    I'd say they're between a rock and a hard place... I can't see them allowing a PT victory, but how do they stop it now???
    How do I post these pictures???

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    ^ Easy, see earlier posts...

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    ^ they are trying, but they're not succeeding...

    It really is time for them to make a deal with PT and gracefully depart; Prayuth needs removing by more level headed folks around him...

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    StrontiumDog's Avatar
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    ^I think they are playing the long game. Abhisit seems to be mentioning the disruption again and again today. Really hyping it up. As I said earlier, it isn't much of a leap to see where this might lead.

    I just don't know if they have the stomach to try it on. Could you imagine the result of a dissolution case against Pheu Thai? I think living in Bangkok may become untenable for starters.

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    ^ yes, that's the point, they've miscalculated; especially with the PT doing so well (dems doing so badly...) in Bangkok.

    I think we all see how they'd like it to go, but it's not going that way, so are they willing to go beyond the EC to the CC; that'd bring chaos, massive street demonstrations... What then? A coup? How will that work at this time? We were pointing this out weeks/months (years?) ago... Now, it looks like the time is all but here...

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