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Shinawatra family still bigger than Pheu Thai Party: Ex-election commissioner


By Thai Newsroom Reporters

THE SHINAWATRA FAMILY will still be bigger than Pheu Thai Party, given the limelit role of Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the youngest daughter of former premier/de facto party leader Thaksin Shinawatra, among the rank and file of the largest opposition party, according to former election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn.

The ex-commissioner of the polling agency made his comment following the formal declaration of Paetongtarn as “head of the Pheu Thai Family” during today’s (Mar.20) partisan seminar entitled “The Pheu Thai Family: The Big House, the Same Heart” held in Udorn Thani.

Whereas MP Chonlanan Srikaew currently acts as Pheu Thai Party leader and opposition leader at parliament, Paetongtarn is performing as “head of the Pheu Thai Family” to the extent that she be named the party’s candidate for prime minister in the next general election.

Chonlanan who was named party leader last year had been earlier speculated to be given such a candidacy.

According to Somchai, the Shinawatra family has been and will be definitely more important than Pheu Thai Party since Paetongtarn who is a member of the Shinawatra family has become head of the Pheu Thai Family.

The ex-election commissioner said it was Pheu Thai Party’s “novel political game” to play, beginning with the rebranding of the party as the Pheu Thai Family in apparent effort to promote Thaksin’s youngest daughter’s venture into the political arena.

Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether future performances of such a “head of the Pheu Thai Family” might possibly violate the Political Party Act, an organic law of the constitution currently under scrutiny of an ad hoc House/Senate committee, he said.

Meanwhile, Paetongtarn declined to tell whether she will finally be named the Pheu Thai candidate for head of a post-election government as largely anticipated by the rank and file of the opposition party.

Paetongtarn, earlier named head of Pheu Thai Party’s innovation and public participation affairs, said she will make it known publicly after the House of Representatives has been dissolved.

Thaksin, who has been taking self-exile in Dubai alongside his sister/former premier Yingluck Shinawatra, is invariably viewed by some people as spiritual leader of Pheu Thai Party and by others as de facto leader of the party which he founded under the name of Thai Rak Thai Party in 1998.

Paetongtarn confirmed that her father has always looked forward to returning home to take care of his grandchildren but that matter, she said, is not a major concern for the Pheu Thai Family.


Paetongtarn Shinawatra was named head of the “Pheu Thai Family” during today’s (Mar.20) partisan seminar in Udorn Thani. Top photo: Thai Post and Home Page photo: Sanook.com

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