23 May 2024

The March-24 general election is not a vote between democracy and military dictatorship, but a vote between Thailand and fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra,  according to Suthep Thuagsuban, founder of the pro-junta Ruam Palang Prachachart Thai party in a post on Facebook today.

Suthep, who led the prolonged mass protests against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra which was eventually toppled by the military about five years ago, said he saw the need to remind the Thai public of the misdeeds allegedly committed by the Thaksin regime.

He identified the controversial lending of 9 billion baht by the state-run Krung Thai Bank to the Krisdamahanakorn real estate group, known to be closely connected with Thaksin, the 4 billion baht loan granted to the Myanmar government by the Exim Bank of Thailand to purchase telecom equipment from a company affiliated with Thaksin and the Ratchadapisek land deal scandal implicating Thaksin’s ex-wife, Khunying Pojamarn na Pompetch.

He also cited the Yingluck government’s rice pledging scandal, claiming that the National Anti-Corruption Commission has recently received evidence implicating Thaksin in pulling the strings behind the corruption-plagued scheme, resulting in massive losses estimated at about 500 billion baht.

“I leave behind a straightforward question for the Thai people:  Which side they will choose?  Should we allow the Thaksin regime to stage a comeback?  No need to answer it now. Instead, do so on March 24th,” said Suthep.