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Dems to stick with Abhisit, Yingluck ready

Posted by arnon_k On May - 27 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

The Democrat Party will only back its leader Abhisit Vejjajiva as prime minister, Democrat secretary-general and caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said on Friday.

Mr Suthep said it would not be possible for the Democrat Party to support Chartthaipattana Party chief adviser and reconciliation campaigner Sanan Kachornprasart for the position of prime minister, as the Democrats will stick to caretaker Prime Minister Abhisit.

“It is even more impossible that the the Democrats will join forces with Pheu Thai to form a government since both parties have different ideologies,” he said.

On Pheu Thai key member Chalerm Yubamrung’s announcement to quit politics permanently if Pheu Thai loses the July 3 election, Mr Suthep said not many people would miss him if he quits.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai’s prime ministerial candidate Yingluck Shinawatra said she is ready to be the next prime minister if she has support from the people.

“If Pheu Thai wins the election, then the prime minister must be from Pheu Thai in principle,” said Ms Yingluck, who is former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s youngest sister.

As for Mr Suthep’s claim that the red-shirt protesters were involved in burning the city in April last year, Ms Yingluck said the public knew the truth.

“I want the election atmosphere to be constructive, not just quarrels,” she added.

Sanoh confident Yingluck will be PM

Posted by arnon_k On May - 26 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Pheu Thai’s Yingluck Shinawatra will be the next prime minister, despite doubts expressed by Bumjaithai politician Newin Chidchob, Sanoh Thienthong, No.2 on the party list, said on Thursday.

Mr Newin, Bhumjaithai’s de facto leader, predicted on Wednesday that neither Ms Yingluck, No1 on the Pheu Thai list, nor Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva will be the next prime minister.

“The remark made by Mr Newin is not constructive and it is not good for Democracy,” Mr sanoh said.

“I am confident that Pheu Thai will gain a landslide win at the coming polls and Ms Yingluck will become prime minister,” Mr Sanoh said.

Asked what would happen if fugitive former prime minister Thaksin wants another person to lead the government instead of his youngest sister, Mr Sanoh said, “We will make a decision if that time comes.”

Noppadon Pattama, a legal adviser to Thaksin, took the same tone, saying there is no reason for Thaksin to refrain from supporting Yingluck for the post of prime minister.

Ms Yingluck said the voters will make their decision on election day, July 3 .

Pheu Thai stands by amnesty plan

Posted by arnon_k On May - 24 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

If the Pheu Thai Party wins the July 3 election and forms a government, the party’s legal team will draw up a law giving amnesty for all of those who have been affected by the Sept 19, 2006 coup, with an aim to bring about national reconciliation, Chalerm Yubamrung said on Monday.

Mr Chalerm, is high on the Pheu Thai party list and leader of the party’s legal team.

He said the first item for consideration would be which form the amnesty should take.
The amnesty might be issued in the form of an executive decree, which could be issued quickly but would have to be later endorsed by parliament, he said.

“We may present it as a bill to parliament, which would be easily passed if we are a government with a majority of votes in the House of Representatives,” he said.

He rejected as untrue a claim by the Democrat Party that Pheu Thai, if elected, would concentrate on whitewashing deposed former caretaker prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

“The amnesty will aim to solve the problems of the country and the majority of people. Wrongdoers must be punished, but those who have been persecuted should be given justice,” Mr Chalerm said.

Emphasis would be given to ensuring justice for those who had been affected by the Sept 19, 2006 coup – and Thaksin was one of them.

“We will see if Thaksin can be pardoned or amnestied. Everything will be done according to the rule of the law,” he said.

The veteran politician said if Pheu Thai won the election and became government it would work for the majority of the people.

“Most importantly, the country must benefit (from the amnesty), so must the majority of people, including Thaksin.

“I believe the people will understand. We will make this a party policy which will be part of our election campaign,” Mr Chalerm said.

Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said his party will on Wednesday file a complaint with the Election Commission against Democrat Party secretary-general Suthep Thaugsuban, accusing him of smearing the reputation of Yingluck Shinawatra in violation of the election law.

Mr Prompong said Ms Yingluck, who as No1 on the party list is Pheu Thai’s candidate for the prime ministership, had signed the request that he complain to the EC after a meeting of the party’s legal team.

He said Mr Suthep said in an interview on Monday morning that Ms Yingluck was following in the footsteps of her brother Thaksin, whose main interest in entering politics was for business gain.

Mr Suthep said Ms Yingluck had not said clearly how she would help the country and the people, but made it clear that she would clear Thaksin of all wrongdoing.

Mr Suthep’s remarks had smeared Ms Yingluck and Thaksin, Mr Prompong said.

“Mr Suthep’s remarks can be taken as false accusations intended to ruin Pheu Thai’s and Ms Yingluck’s popularity in the coming election. The Democrat Party must be held responsible for what Mr Suthep has said,” he added.

Earlier today, red-shirt core member Natthawut Saikua, a Pheu Thai party list candidate, said the party had assigned Mr Prompong to file a complaint against Mr Suthep on Wednesday for accusing him and two other red-shirt party list candidates – Jatuporn Prompan and Weng Tojirakarn – of being terrorists.

The three are among a number of red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship leaders who have been charged with terrorism in connection with the violent protests in April-May last year. They were initially jailed and later released on bail.

Mr Natthawut said the Pheu Thai Party had discussed this matter and agreed that caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Suthep’s comments were damaging to the party, particularly to the popular vote, and was a violation of the election law.

He said this could lead to the dissolution of the Democrat Party, in the long run.

Democrat leader and caretaker Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Monday the vote in Bangkok would determine the future of Thailand, and he exhorted his party’s candidates to win all 33 seats in the capital in the general election.

“I expect the votes from the Bangkokians will determine the future of the country,” Mr Abhisit said while campaigning at Arena 10 on Thonglor road.

“I would like the Democrats to win all 33 constituencies in the capital.”

The election would be a close race between the Democrat and Pheu Thai parties, he said.

A website of the Democrat Party, set up to attract young people, was hacked on Sunday night.

Reports said an anonymous hacker broke into “www.youngdemocrat.org” while Prime Minister and Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva was using social media for his party’s election campaign.

The hacker replaced the homepage with a black background with the message: “Don’t Worry Admin! Your Files and Database Are Safe!!! I Just Wanna Tell You that Your Security Sucks!!!”

The black background and the message were removed on Monday morning, and the website is now back up.

Pheu Thai draws No.1 for ballots

Posted by arnon_k On May - 20 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Major parties were content with the numbers they drew on the ballot paper when registration of party list candidates for the July 3 election started at the Thai-Japanese stadium yesterday.

Pheu Thai’s No.1 candidate on the party list, Yingluck Shinawatra, said she was happy that her party also drew No.1.

“That’s an easy number to remember and it is also a lucky number,” said the youngest sister of former prime minister Thaksin.

Ms Yingluck said she was excited to enter the election race.

She added that her party was advancing national reconciliation as its main policy.

Chart Pattana Puea Pandin (CPPP) Party drew No.2. Its leader, Energy Minister Wannarat Charnnukul, said the number symbolised victory.

“No.2 will bring victory to the party and I want all candidates to visit voters in their areas and campaign attentively,” Mr Wannarat said.

The CPPP will announce its energy policies today.

Democrat Party leader, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, said he was not worried that his party drew No.10 on the ballot paper, but admitted he would have preferred a single-digit number.

However, Mr Abhisit said No.10 would not affect the party’s campaign, adding he planned to spend more time visiting voters in their constituencies.

Yesterday he took Democrat candidates to pay respects at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, generally known to Thais as Wat Phra Kaew, and the City Pillar Shrine before campaigning in Muang district of Nonthaburi.

Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said he felt good that his party drew No.10 because traditionally a football striker wore the No.10 shirt while those wearing the No.1 were just the goalkeeper and not as important.

Chartthaipattana Party leader Chumpol Silpa-archa said he was satisfied that his party drew No.21, as his elder brother Banharn was the country’s 21st prime minister.

“I’m happy with the number and I hope the party will win 35 seats again,” he said.

Matubhum Party leader Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, who drew No.26, said the number symbolised that he might win 26 seats in the election.

About 50 key members and supporters of the Bhumjaithai Party looked unhappy after the party drew No.16.

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