Paetongtarn Shinawatra greeted as ‘next PM’ by crowds in Northeast
More than 2,000 supporters of the opposition Pheu Thai Party greeted Paetongtarn Shinawatra, daughter of exiled former premier Thaksin, at Ubon Ratchathani airport on Saturday. Paetongtarn was on her way to address gatherings in neighbouring Si Sa Ket province.
Pheu Thai politicians in the Northeast are backing Paetongtarn to become the next prime minister.
Paetongtarn arrived at the airport just after 8am and was welcomed by Pheu Thai MPs for Ubon Ratchathani, Yasothon and Amnat Charoen, as well as local politicians affiliated with the party.
She was accompanied by senior Pheu Thai figures, including secretary-general Prasert Chantararuangthong and Nattawut Saikua, who was recently appointed director of the “Pheu Thai Family”.
Many among the crowd waiting at the airport held photos of Paetongtarn and her elder brother Panthongtae, who also accompanied her on the trip. The crowd shouted “Pheu Thai Family” repeatedly.
Kriang Kantinun, a senior Pheu Thai figure based in Ubon Ratchathani, said the party’s supporters were eager to meet Paetongtarn, who also serves as head of the Pheu Thai Family.
He said people have high hopes of Paetongtarn after “eight years of hardship”, referring to the period since the 2014 military coup.
Chalermphon Malakham, a sub-district administrative organisation chief in Ubon Ratchathani, said he was waiting at the airport to greet “the next prime minister”, adding that Paetongtarn was suitable for the top political job.
Also at the airport was Pheu Thai deputy secretary-general Worasit Kantinun, who said Paetongtarn deserved to become the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
“She is suitable to become our prime minister. We have nowhere else to turn to. She is a very good choice to solve the crisis,” the politician said.
The next general election is due to be held no later than March 2023, when Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s tenure expires.
Paetongtarn is due to address rallies in three districts on Saturday – Uthumphon Phisai, Rasi Salai and Khun Han – as part of the “Pheu Thai Family excursion in Si Sa Ket”.