23 May 2024

The Pheu Thai Party, ironically as its critics may say, will be hoping money does not matter as much in next years electionThe Democrats, meanwhile, are struggling to cope with what appears to be a financial turn of the tideAs the rival camps wince, the Palang Pracharat Party has gleefully wrapped up a fundraising dinner event which it described as “successful beyond expectations.

Money factors in Thai politics, just as it does anywhere else.  In the past few elections, cash flows were as important to Pheu Thai as ideology”.  It was not easy to sustain a political organization as large with ideological drives alone, not least because for all the prodemocracy” rhetoric which has been the hallmark of Pheu Thai, the party does rely on the financial might of one family.

New constitutional rules and uncertainties surrounding the fate of Yaowapa Wongsawat, have made financial support through the Shinawatras more difficultIn fact, Pheu Thais financial situation, while it is still relatively good, has come to a point where the party is hoping that it could reclaim government control through an ideological push alone.

Thaksin Shinawatras political camp, in other words, will count more on past merits” than ever before, according to an analysis in the Thai Rath newspaperThe party has lost several votegetting politicians to the Palang Pracharat Party who have high prospects of winning the election, so Pheu Thai must be wishing that Thaksins remaining popularity and antimilitary sentiment will enable lesserknown candidates to beat the old guards.

Thaksins sister Yaowapa is the last main financial source inside Thailand of his political campHer fate is allegedly linked with rumours that excommerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, serving a lengthy jail term in connection with the rice pledging scheme of the Yingluck government, may have spilled the beans over the controversial project

If Pheu Thais situation is worrisome, the Democrats’ is probably worseDemocrat leader Abhisit Vejjajivas reluctance to back Prayut Chanocha as postelection prime minister has worried antiThaksin sectors who automatically have turned toward Palang PracharatThis threatens to drain financial support for Thailands oldest party.

Intersections are there for a reason, somebody said of the Democrat Partys ambiguous stand. “Sometimes you have to choose right or left, as going straight will end up nowhere,” he saidThe source said that financial problems will affect the Democrats during the election campaign and after the election, meaning the party could continue to be rocked by defections throughout next year.

With Pheu Thai facing uncertainties and Democrats going into the poll with shallower pockets, Palang Pracharat is smilingThe promilitary party has earned an estimated Bt650 million _ Bt50 million more than its initial projection _ from a fundraising banquet a few days agoThe amount is as significant as the names of sponsors, who make up the whos who list in the Thai elite societies.

Some financial squeezes seem intentional while others, in the case of the Democrat Party, appear naturalIts still beyond anyones wildest dream for Pheu Thai and the Democrats to join hands, but, as they say, people who are broke can do anything.  — ThaiPBS World’s Political Desk