Pattaya Daily News

14 June 2011 :: 10:06:34 am 54944

Thai PM ‘very optimistic’ about winning election

JAKARTA, June 13, 2011 (AFP) - Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said in Jakarta on Monday that he was "very optimistic" about winning next month's general election.
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“We’ve had very good responses… and I think the Thai people want to move the country forward. They want to see stability and they want to see their problems addressed,” he told a news conference at the World Economic Forum on East Asia in the Indonesian capital.

While the election campaign has not been smooth, it has been “orderly”, Abhisit said.

“If you were in Thailand maybe a couple of months ago, there’s so much speculation about whether elections could actually be held. But if you’re in Thailand now, nobody is questioning that,” he added.

Abhisit is in the midst of a tough electoral battle against former premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s allies in the Puea Thai party, who want an amnesty for politicians who have been charged or convicted if they win the July 3 vote.

Thaksin’s youngest sister, political newcomer Yingluck Shinawatra, is Puea Thai’s candidate for prime minister, underscoring her brother’s ongoing role in Thailand’s fractured political landscape.

Her arrival on the scene has reinvigorated an opposition that just weeks ago appeared rudderless, with polls showing her party pulling ahead of Abhisit’s establishment-backed Democrats.

A Puea Thai victory could pave the way for the return of Thaksin, who was ousted in a 2006 coup and lives abroad to avoid a jail term for corruption. He is also charged with terrorism in relation to unrest in Bangkok last year.

Abhisit warned that an amnesty would be a threat to Thailand stability.

“We don’t believe that’s the country’s priority, we don’t believe that’s the people’s priorities. It can only cause more trouble, controversy and instability,” he said.

Oxford-educated Abhisit came to power at the end of 2008 in a parliamentary vote and is accused by critics of having no popular mandate.

Thaksin, a former telecoms tycoon, is hailed by many rural and working-class Thais for his populist policies but loathed by the Bangkok-based elite which sees him as corrupt, authoritarian and a threat to the monarchy.

Protests by his “Red Shirt” supporters led to Thailand’s worst civil violence in decades last April and May, in which more than 90 people died in clashes between the opposition street movement and security forces.

Report by : AFP

Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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