Pheu Thai claims Si Sa Ket rallies a resounding success
Opposition Pheu Thai Party boasted that its rallies in Si Sa Ket on Saturday were a huge success with thousands of supporters showing up.
Pheu Thai spokesperson Teerarat Samretwanich said on Sunday that large crowds had shown up at the rallies in Uthumphon Phisai, Rasi Salai and Khukhan districts. The gatherings were led by Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the youngest daughter of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, and Nattawut Saikuar, former leader of the red-shirt movement.
Paetongtarn is head of the Pheu Thai Family project and Nattawut the director.
“More than 10,000 Si Sa Ket residents and people from nearby provinces showed up at the rallies,” Teerarat said, adding that this was a clear sign that local people continue supporting the party.
Pheu Thai also announced its potential candidates for House seats in the Northeast, she said.
“We are going ahead and are not worried about reports that some MPs [at least three] will defect,” Teerarat said.
The rallies labelled “Lai Noo Tee Ngu Hao” (“Chasing Away Rat and Beating Cobras”), were seen as an attack on coalition partner Bhumjaithai, whose leader Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul is nicknamed Noo or “rat”.
“Cobras”, meanwhile, is believed to refer to the two Pheu Thai MPs who defected to Bhumjaithai to contest the 2019 election and won.
Pheu Thai leaders also referred to the inadequacies of Prayut Chan-o-cha’s government, saying that it is time the country moved forward as people have had enough economic hardship under eight years of Prayut’s regime.
In response, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana hit back by saying Prayut had been clearing the mess left behind by Pheu Thai’s de facto chief Thaksin, who fled overseas to escape punishment over corruption allegations.
Thanakorn also slammed Pheu Thai for taking back Nattawut and appointing him as director of the Pheu Thai Family project. The spokesman pointed out that Nattawut had divided and damaged the country as leader of the red-shirt movement.
Nattawut had left Pheu Thai to join the now-dissolved Thai Raksa Chart Party and then the New Direction Party.
“If the prime minister had not stepped in to solve these problems, the country would have still been divided along the political colour codes and severely eroded by corruption,” Thanakorn said.
He added that Pheu Thai may also be too blinded by its efforts to bring Thaksin back to see what Prayut has achieved for the country.
As for the upcoming no-confidence debate against Prayut, Thanakorn said he does not believe Seri Ruam Thai Party leader Pol General Sereepisuth Temiyaves’s claim that he has strong evidence against the PM to reveal during the debate.
The opposition submitted a censure motion against Prayut and 10 other ministers last week. A date has yet to be set for the debate.
Sereepisuth, who was the former police chief, has said he has some surprises in store for Prayut, but Thanakorn said he believes the Seri Ruam Thai leader is simply making empty threats to help his party win in the upcoming by-election in Lampang’s Constituency 4.