MPs fear Pheu Thai will be criticised for having her as nominee for premier
POLITICIANS LINKED to the red shirts and others in the ruling Pheu Thai Party have opposed its nomination of Yingluck Shinawatra as its number 1 candidate to be the next prime minister, according to party sources.
Pheu Thai red-shirt politicians are worried that a candidate from the Shinawatra family, which has come under heavy criticism in the ongoing political crisis, would give the party’s political enemies an edge, the sources said. “The opposite side is trying to corner the government. If Pheu Thai still nominates people from the Shinawatra family [for the party-list election], the government’s enemies will have an advantage,” a source said.
Pheu Thai has revealed its party-list candidates for the February 2 election, with Yingluck, the caretaker prime minister and defence minister, at number 1 and former premier Somchai Wongsawat number 2. Somchai’s wife Yaowapa is also from the Shinawatra family.
Red-shirt politicians suggested that to help reduce the pressure Pheu Thai is facing, politicians with a good image, such as Phongthep Thepkanjana and Chadchart Sittipunt, should become the party’s number top candidates to be the next prime minister, the source said.
The source said that according to the caretaker PM’s proposal, a post-election government should implement political reform for one and a half to two years before dissolving the House and calling a new election. “The new government should be an ad-hoc one and there should be no one from the Shinawatra family in the Cabinet,” the source said.
However, Pheu Thai had still nominated Yingluck and Somchai as its top two candidates for the premiership. This disappointed red-shirt politicians who have threatened to withdraw support for the party, the sources said.
Meanwhile, opposition politicians said yesterday that Pheu Thai may viewed Yingluck as its best candidate.
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and Yingluck have been criticised by many residents in Bangkok after the House passed the controversial amnesty bill aimed at absolving politicians convicted of corruption and perpetrators of severe crimes such as murder and arson. However, it was believed that the Shinawatras were still popular in rural areas.
Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said Pheu Thai may believe that the Shinawatra family represents a strong chance for the party. That was why Pheu Thai would field Yingluck again to be prime minister again. He said that in the run-up to the election, the Democrats would not campaign against the so-called Thaksin regime.
“My party will hold a political reform forum to try to create the future for Thailand that everybody wants to see,” he said.
Deputy Democrat spokesman Jurit Laksanawisit said yesterday that Pheu Thai’s nomination of Yingluck as its No 1 party-list candidate suggested it wanted to extend the Thaksin regime.
He said there was no guarantee Yingluck and other Pheu Thai politicians would not attempt to revive the controversial amnesty bill if they took power again. He said Yingluck had to pass the law to “whitewash” Thaksin’s wrongdoing.
“Thai politics is going back to a period of ‘Thaksin orders and Yingluck does it’. This is a big problem for Thais,” Jurit said.