June 16, 2014 00:00
By Budsarakham Sinlapalavan,
The military's seizure of power has left politicians with long breaks from Parliament House - allowing many to take advantage of the comparative peace and less active lives.
Former Pheu Thai MP Leelawadee Watcharobol said that during the coup her life remains generally normal, but she must limit some activities – such as visiting people in her area – in case someone mistakes her intentions. To continue her development projects she must send her team to take care of them for her.
“In this situation the party has no meetings and most MPs abandon activities because the political work may be misunderstood in such an abnormal environment.”
Former Chart Thai Pattana party MP Paradon Prissananantagul said the coup hasn’t changed his daily life, villagers still give him invitation cards asking him to join their ceremonial events. “The only one big change is I have no salary, but it’s not a problem because I use my mother’s money,” Paradon laughed.
Sunisa Lertpakawat, former deputy government spokesperson, said that after the coup her daily life included watching television and reading newspapers because she wanted to follow the National Council for Peace and Order’s (NCPO) movements and how they managed the country.
The big difference today for the former deputy Pheu Thai Party spokeswoman is that there are no meetings at the party’s headquarters and no statements from the party. Meanwhile, she thinks this situation will build a new face for local politics and the old style will be out after the next step.
Another political figure now turning to non-political activities is Kokaew Pikulthong, who was among red-shirt leaders who donated blood to the Thai Red Cross Society. He posted on his Facebook page that “he has free time now so he will do anything that slows him down, including giving blood donations”.
Former Pheu Thai MP Jarupan Kuldiloke said as part of continuing her political work she currently is deputy chairperson of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties Women's Wing. In the future, she might return to teaching at Mahidol University’s Faculty of Engineering.
A former Pheu Thai MP, who asked not to be named, said the party had not held meetings for a while and key members felt uncertain and refrained from any political movement. They had made clear earlier that an election would be the only answer to return power to the people properly, and they would wait and see how the new Constitution would look.
The former MP personally believed that Thailand’s political problems would not end, however, and a grass-roots’ uprising would occur after the next election.