TRT plans poll to test Thaksin's popularity
The Thai Rak Thai Party is preparing to conduct an opinion survey to gauge whether leader Thaksin Shinawatra should resume political activities next year, a party source said yesterday.
"Party executive Veera Musigapong has been tasked to launch the survey by coordinating with the party's branches and local supporters nationwide," the source said.
The survey will be conducted under direct orders from Thaksin, who is living in self-imposed exile in London, he said.
"Thaksin wants to know specifically if villagers would support his comeback to carry out populist policies," he said.
Party deputy spokesman Jatuporn Phromphan said Veera would call a party meeting sometime this week, coinciding with the expiry of the two-week deadline for the Council for Democratic Reform (CDR) to hand over power to an interim government.
Jatuporn also stated that it was too early to speculate on Thaksin's future, saying that his party would first finalise its plans to adjust to the changing political landscape.
"At this juncture, I can say only that Thaksin has instructed every party member to try and keep the party intact," he said, claiming that his party still remained popular.
Jatuporn was confident about the Thai Rak Thai's survival even though its key opponent, the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), has attacked it for alleged corruption and called for graft probes into its financial backers.
"It is clear that the PAD is trying to sway the CDR to dismantle the party," he said.
Former Thai Rak Thai MP Theerachai Saenkaew said his Udon Thani constituents would still vote for Thaksin and his party at the next general election.
"Following the normalisation of the political situation, democratic rule should move forward in accordance with the voice of the people," Theerachai said.