Paetongtarn criticised for using ‘coup rhetoric’ by senior UTPN member
A senior member of the United Thai Nation Party (UTNP) on Thursday accused Pheu Thai Party prime minister candidate Paetongtarn Shinawatra of using “coup rhetoric to demean others” and win votes.
UTNP coordinator Himalai Phiewphan criticised Paetongarn for statements she made on Wednesday clarifying that she and Pheu Thai would not join a coalition government with coup leaders.
On Wednesday, Paetongtarn said Pheu Thai’s slight drop in support in recent opinion polls might be the result of her not being clear enough that she would not join a coalition government with former coup leaders.
“About the next coalition government, I want everybody to look at my face – it certainly does not show that I liked the two recent coups,” she explained. “I have not answered the question of forming a coalition government clearly yet, because I treat voters and this nation with respect. I also didn’t answer these questions because the election has not been held yet.”
“But if you ask if I would like to join hands with people who are not on the side of democracy and who staged two coups, I will say that people should know the answer well,” she added.
Thai-language media concluded that she was referring to Palang Pracharath PM candidate General Prawit Wongsuwan and UTNP PM candidate General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Prayut led the coup in 2014 against the government of Yingluck Shinawatra – Paetongtarn’s aunt – with the support of Prawit. Paetongtarn’s father, Thaksin Shinawatra, was ousted in a coup in 2006.
Himalai said Paetongtarn should not have said she would not form a coalition with anyone right now because the election has yet to happen.
Her comments demeaned other parties that have a chance to lead the next coalition, he added.
“She also used coup rhetoric,” Himalai said. “I would like to call on Paetongtarn and Pheu Thai to stop using rhetoric to demean other parties just to gain support.”
Instead, Paetongtarn and her party should explain how they will raise 500 billion baht to finance their digital-wallet policy that will see 10,000 baht transferred to all Thais 16 years of age or older, Himalai said.
He also expressed concern that if Pheu Thai wins the next election, Paetongtarn could become prime minister. She has no experience and no achievements, he said.