I think it is too early for Thaksin Shinawatra to call Sunday’s election “rigged”.
As I understand it, Thaksin is upset because the election results showed parties under his control are losing big time – especially in constituencies where he used to enjoy tremendous influence.
In Chiang Mai, Thaksin’s hometown, candidates from his Pheu Thai party won in this election but at the same time lost half of their votes to candidates from the military-backed Phalang Pracharat and the newly formed progressive Future Forward. In the next election, there’s a good chance Pheu Thai candidates may lose most, if not all of their seats in this province.
One other fact that Thaksin doesn’t seem to realise is that there were more than 7 million first-time voters in this year’s election. Most of these young voters, when they see Thaksin’s face appear in the news, will ask: “Who is that old man with his pitch-black hair?”
As the old saying goes: “Out of sight, out of mind.”