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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.

PM faces sour atmosphere in Klong Toey

Posted by arnon_k On June - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Escaping from an ice attack by a suspected red shirt supporter in Chiang Mai, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday faced resistance again from “no vote” traders at Klong Toey market.

His campaign rally had a good start when he paid respects at the Phek Lek Keng Mangkon Khiao Chinese shrine and then visited people in the nearby market. His presence drew a crowd _ some even took photos of him.

But the atmosphere turned sour when he passed stalls where no vote campaign posters and brochures were displayed and no vote T-shirts on sale.

The stall owners and Mr Abhisit exchanged smiles, before he quickly passed them by. But then up went a cry: “This shop votes no. We don’t want to lose our territory.”

The remark clearly protested the government’s allegedly soft approach to the Thai-Cambodian border conflict.”I support voting for good people. Voting for none will only let bad people come to the House,” Mr Abhisit said.

The yellow shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy is running a no vote campaign for the July 3 poll. It says the nation must break from bad politicians.

Meanwhile, Mr Abhisit’s spokesman defended criticism that the Democrat leader had visited the North just to perform a ritual to free him of bad luck so that he would win the election.

On Thursday, Mr Abhisit took part in a sueb chata ceremony at Nong Nguek temple in Lamphun’s Pa Sang district.

The ceremony holds out the promise of good luck and prolonging one’s life.

The spokesman said that the temple held the ceremony as part of its ordinary religious schedule and that Mr Abhisit had joined the ceremony as is normal for a Thai person.

Abhisit keen for debate with Yingluck

Posted by arnon_k On May - 30 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva on Monday called on the Pheu Thai Party to take notice of the people’s call for a debate between him and the party’s No.1 list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra.

Mr Abhisit said this while helping Nat Bantadtan, a Democrat candidate running in Bangkok’s constituency 15, campaign at the Bang Kapi market and a Saen Saep canal boat landing at Wat Sriboonruang temple.

Mr Nat is a son of Banyat Bantadtan, a core member of the Democrat Party.

Asked about a poll result showing the people wanted to see Ms Yingluck take part in a debate, Mr Abhisit said the Pheu Thai Party should heed the people’s call. He said he was ready for any debate.

Askd about opinion surveys intended to gauge the respective popularity of political parties competing in the July 3 election, Mr Abhisit said the pollsters should clearly identify areas and target groups for every survey.

He said the Democrat Party did not yet have a plan for the formation of a new government because the result of the polls were still not known.

The caretaker prime minister called for all sides to maintain a good atmosphere during the election campaign. He said he had asked police to look into all bomb threats, adding some of them might not be related to politics.

Mr Abhisit also said Suthep Thaugsuban, the Democrat Party secretary-general, had never made any insulting remark about anyone, including Maj-Gen Sanan Kachornprasart, chief adviser of the Chartthaipattana Party.

He asked the media to be careful how they present the news after an interview.

Witthaya Buranasiri, a Pheu Thai candidate running in Ayutthaya’s constituency 4 and former opposition chief whip, said his party was ready to form a government with any other party.

He was commenting on a report that Chart Pattana Peua Pandin and Chartthaipattana parties had said they would be glad to join a government if Pheu Thai won the election.

Mr Witthaya, however, said he did not want to talk about parties joining to form a government at this time, but would rather wait to see the election results first.

As for the Bhumjaithai Party, Mr Witthaya admitted that the paty had hurt Pheu Thai on many issues and believed the people also knew about what happened between the two parties.

PM says city voters will determine poll

Posted by arnon_k On May - 24 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

The vote in Bangkok will determine the winner of the general election, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva believes.

Mr Abhisit, the leader of the Democrat Party, said yesterday the party had bonded with people in the capital for a long time.

Introducing 33 Democrat candidates who will vie for seats in 33 constituencies in Bangkok, Mr Abhisit pointed out that opinion polls showed his party and the opposition Pheu Thai Party were close in the popularity stakes.

He said the vote in Bangkok would determine which party would lose and which party would win the July 3 election and by extension control the future of Thailand.

He also predicted a tight race.

Mr Abhisit said his Democrat Party’s affinity with Bangkok goes back a long way. The party has always paid special attention to issues affecting the capital. Voters in Bangkok gave his party a big boost in the 2007 poll, electing as many as two Bangkok governor candidates and supporting the party in the elections of Bangkok’s district councillors and Bangkok councillors.

Sometimes, he admitted, people in Bangkok did not completely trust the Democrats but its representation has never completely disappeared from the capital.

He said former Democrat leader Thanat Khoman and himself were once the only Democrat Party MPs in Bangkok.

Mr Abhisit asked voters in northern districts of Bangkok to give Democrat candidates a chance. He said the Democrats had not represented Bang Khen, Sai Mai and Don Muang districts for several decades.

All 33 Democrat candidates in Bangkok would have their applications registered today when registration of constituency candidates is due to start.

Mr Abhisit said his party had pulled the nation through the global economic crisis while preventing people from losing their jobs and keeping public debt from rising unlike in many other countries.