By The Nation
Speaking at the Thailand Focus 2018 conference, Political Road Map: the Election Ahead, hosted by the Stock Exchange of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajiva, leader of the Democrat Party said that a paradigm shift is needed in economic management.
The Democrat Party committed to achieving income equality by promoting decentralisation and relaxing regulations, also promising to promote participation in policy and decision making.
Chaturon Chaisang, a leading member of the Pheu Thai Party, said economic policy should meet the people’s needs.
He said the Pheu Thai Party would create opportunities for business and more accessible financial services. Chaturon argued that Thailand has paid a very high cost for stability under the current dictatorial regime with trade and investment damaged and the public denied any input into decision making.
Anutin Charnvirakul, leader of the Phumjaithai Party, said while gross domestic product had increased by 4.8 per cent, the majority of people do not feel positive about economic growth because inequality is high.
He added that the government must prioritise projects that meet people's demands across the country. Projects like the Eastern Economic Corridor is likely to concentrate development in a few provinces and it could be postponed, he said.
Anutin said he expected another election delay, telling global fund managers attending the Thailand Focus that the election is more likely to be held in the second half of 2019.
Abhisit shared his views, adding that the country is unlikely to see an election on February 24. He also warned that election postponement could lead to national instability due to economic discontent.