Pheu Thai opts not to counter Jatuporn’s damaging allegations
A key figure in the opposition Pheu Thai Party has declined to publicly spar with an outspoken former colleague, Jatuporn Prompan, who made a series of damaging claims against the party and its patriarch – former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
“The Pheu Thai Party has no policy of countering allegations or getting involved in exchanges of arguments with Jatuporn or anyone else,” Nattawut Saikua, director of the Pheu Thai Family, said on Friday evening.
Pheu Thai is focused on election campaigning, he said.
Nattawut also asked Jatuporn to stop alleging that Phue Thai has, among other things, made a deal to form a coalition with the ruling party.
Jatuporn and Nattawut were key leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, also known as the red shirts, formed by loyal supporters of Thaksin and his proxy Pheu Thai.
Their strong support was credited with the party’s electoral wins over the past decade.
Nattawut said that if the red shirts voted for another political party in the “pro-democracy camp”, he believed it would not be because of the allegations made by Jatuporn.
“I am convinced that most red shirts still believe in the Pheu Thai Party. After the House dissolution, I would like to ask our red-shirt brothers and sisters to join hands with us again,” he said.
The politician also said that Pheu Thai’s goal was to win a landslide victory in the next general election.
The goal is not to “bring Thaksin home” but to send the remnants of the post-coup junta back to their homes, he claimed.
Earlier, Jatuporn demanded that the main opposition party issue a public declaration that it would not form an alliance with the ruling Palang Pracharath Party after the upcoming general election.
He also accused fugitive former premier Thaksin of repeatedly betraying the red shirts, who were his loyal supporters and helped vote his proxy Pheu Thai into power.
Jatuporn said that Pheu Thai had been in government for just a few years before Thaksin wasted its election victory by having it push a 2013 bill to grant amnesty to anyone involved in the political conflict – including those accused of murder and corruption.
Many viewed the bill as a deliberate move to benefit Thaksin.
It led to massive street protests against the government led by Thaksin’s youngest sister, Yingluck Shinawatra.
The protests and ensuing violence culminated in a military coup in May 2014 – which Jatuporn said resulted in eight “wasted years” for Thailand under coup-leader Prayut’s rule.
Jatuporn warned that history would repeat itself if Pheu Thai returned to power and made the same amnesty move again.