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A team of Pheu Thai strategists is trying to figure out how to maintain the popularity of top party-list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra, a party source said.

The move is to counter a campaign against Ms Yingluck, with questions being raised over her role in her brother Thaksin Shinawatra’s asset seizure case last year.

She may face charges of perjury relating to her testimony to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Assets Scrutiny Committee and the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions regarding former prime minister Thaksin’s assets.

The source said a working team is likely to be formed to answer and clarify the allegations so Ms Yingluck will be free to focus on policy platforms.

According to the source, the party may require the help of its spokesmen and former MPs with the rhetoric.

“What the team is expected to do is to dispel any doubts that may arise. This is to keep up the momentum of the party’s first female prime minister campaign,” the source said.

According to the source, Ms Yingluck’s popularity is key to the party’s success in the July 3 elections, especially in the the areas where the contest is tight.

Ms Yingluck’s second visit to Udon Thani early this week is aimed at shoring up the party candidates, the source said.

Udon Thani, which is part of Ms Yingluck’s northeastern campaign which ended yesterday, is expected to be tightly contested in some constituencies.

In Constituency 4, Pheu Thai’s Khajit Chainikhom is running against Democrat Chaiyos Jiramethakorn, who is also deputy education minister.

In Constituency 6, Pheu Thai candidate Kiatudom Menasawat faces a strong opponent from Bhumjaithai in Uthai Senkaew.

In Constituency 8, Kriangsak Faisi-ngam is pitted against the Democrats’ Choksaman Leelawong.

The source said these three constituencies are “worrisome” for the party, which wants to make a clean sweep in Udon Thani, as it is considered a red shirt stronghold.

Red shirts give Abhisit a break

Posted by arnon_k On June - 7 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Pheu Thai Party’s plea for red-shirt supporters to stop hounding Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva seemed to yield results Monday when his campaign stop in the red-shirt stronghold of Bangkok’s Don Muang area went uninterrupted.

Mr Abhisit helped campaign for Tankhun Jitt-itsara, his party’s candidate in Bangkok’s Constituency 12, at Wattananan market where he was warmly received by vendors and local voters.

Mr Abhisit’s presence attracted a large crowd, many of whom took photos of him and asked for his autograph.

No members of the pro-Pheu Thai red shirt group showed up to jeer him, despite the fact that Don Muang is the stronghold of Pheu Thai candidate Karun Hosakul.

Pheu Thai’s top party-list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra last week asked red shirt supporters to refrain from disrupting the Democrats’ electioneering activities. The Democrats thanked the rival party for helping calm its followers.

While in Don Muang, Mr Abhisit yesterday rejected the possibility that his party would team up with the Pheu Thai to form a coalition government, citing different stances and policies.

Mr Abhisit made his remarks in responce to Chartthaipattana chief adviser Sanan Kachornprasart’s suggestion that the Democrat Party and Pheu Thai form a coalition government or small and mid-sized parties form the next government to bring about reconciliation in the country.

The Democrat leader said it was too early to talk about forming a government.

He said the Democrats had a clear stance on how to form the next government, and that precluded linking with parties that had diverging policies and ideological stances from the Democrats.

Mr Abhisit said any party that won a majority of the House seats could form a government. If no party wins a majority of the votes, other parties that can muster majority support had the right to do it. Political etiquette calls for the party with the most winning candidates to form a government, he added.

Meanwhile, the Democrat Party leader yesterday posted a statement on his Facebook page to rebut reports in certain media outlets that his rise to power was not in line with democratic principles.

He insisted he never intended to be prime minister after his party was defeated in the 2007 general election. But the Samak Sundaravej government, formed after that election, set out to whitewash fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s wrongdoings, triggering a wave of resistance from the public in the guise of the People’s Alliance for Democracy.

Mr Abhisit said he had never colluded with the anti-Thaksin PAD to pressure the Samak government, which was backed by Thaksin, to resign.

He had made it clear that he disagreed with PAD’s occupation of Government House and two international airports.

He stressed he had neither stolen power from any party nor colluded with the military to rise to power. But his rival Pheu Thai Party resorted to any and all means to cling to power.

He said he assumed the premiership through democratic means, saying he had received support from parliament over the past two years.

For almost 20 years, his political ideology has never been changed. He has put the needs of the public before his own, he said on his Facebook page.

Yingluck: PT only clarified its stance

Posted by arnon_k On June - 3 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Pheu Thai’s announcement that it will definitely not join the Bhumjaithai Party in forming a government after the July 3 polls was statement of the party’s position, not an attempt to denigrate the other party, Yingluck Shinawatra said on Friday.

“The issuing of the statement was not a gaffe or done with the intention of looking down on the Bhumjaithai Party as some have claimed,” the Pheu Thai Party’s No.1 list candidate said.

“It was a party’s resolution passed to make it clear to the public that Pheu Thai will only join with those political parties that have similar political ideologies.”

Ms Yingluck declined to give details of the different standpoints between her party and Bhumjaithai. She insisted that the statement was not issued on the instructions of her elder brother, fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Asked about the obstruction of the Democrat’s election campaign by red-shirts, Ms Yingluck said she would like to ask the red-shirts to stop such action because she wants a constructive election.

The Pheu Thai Party on Thursday issued a statement saying that it will definitely not align with the Bhumjaithai Party to form a new government after the July 3 election.

The statement, issued by Pheu Thai leader Yongyuth Wichaidit, ended speculation about whether the Pheu Thai and Bhumjaithai parties could become partners in a coalition government.

Sanan denies plot with Thaksin

Posted by arnon_k On June - 3 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Pheu Thai won’t form govt with Bhumjaithai
Chartthaipattana chief adviser Sanan Kachornprasart denies he is coordinating with a close aide of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to form the next government.

Reports have suggested that Thaksin has assigned a handful of people close to him to discuss with two other parties the prospect of forming a coalition if Pheu Thai wins the July 3 election.

According to the reports, Thaksin has asked them to carry out negotiations in advance of the July 3 poll, in the expectation of Pheu Thai likely winning but needing the help of smaller parties to govern.

Those said to have been given his mandate include Pheu Thai adviser Sanoh Thienthong and former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat, his close aide Pongsak Raktapongpaisarn, and one of Pheu Thai’s party list candidates Pracha Promnok.

The group was to discuss the prospects of a post-election coalition with Chartthaipattana’s de facto leader Banharn Silpa-archa, Maj Gen Sanan, and with key members of the Chart Pattana Puea Pandin and Bhumjaithai parties.

Maj Gen Sanan, also deputy prime minister in the Democrat-led government, said he had not been approached by anyone to form a new government, and nor had he discussed the matter with his party leader.

Chartthaipattana candidates were busy with their campaigns but the party would meet on Monday, said Maj Gen Sanan yesterday.

He insisted he was willing to support any party working to form a coalition if it would lead to national reconciliation.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai has announced it was not prepared to join with Bhumjaithai to form a government after the election.

Pheu Thai leader Yongyuth Wichaidit said yesterday the party’s executive committee had decided not to work with Bhumjaithai because they were too different ideologically.

He hoped the decision would end speculation about whether Pheu Thai and Bhumjaithai could become coalition partners.

“Since reports appeared suggesting the Pheu Thai and Bhumjaithai parties may jointly set up a government, our executive committee held a meeting to consider the matter,” he said.

“Members agreed that Pheu Thai’s ideologies and work methods are far different from those of Bhumjaithai.

“The Pheu Thai Party has resolved not to work with the Bhumjaithai Party or help it set up a government after the election,” he said.

Pheu Thai deputy leader Plodprasop Suraswadi said the party’s executive committee had also passed a resolution on campaign guidelines.

Mr Plodprasop said the resolution was not binding at this stage because many executive committee members were busy campaigning.

Under the resolution, executive committee members would not talk about the formation of a government, because doing so might spoil the party’s presentation of policies to the people.

The party would not talk about the matter any further until the election result was known.

Candidates were free to discuss voter preferences on this matter, but what they said would be treated as their personal views, not the party’s stance.

If Pheu Thai is in a position to form a government after the poll, the party would invite other parties to join it.

However, those parties must have the same line of thinking as Pheu Thai, and the same ideology regarding the people, democracy and justice.

Their leaders must also be acceptable to the people.