6 June 2024

Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has defended the Pheu Thai party, saying it is not a neo conservative party, but a reformist party, dating back to its founding as the Thai Rak Thai party, which was eventually dissolved by the Constitutional Court.

Addressing party members on a video conference at the general meeting of the Pheu Thai party on Friday, Thaksin, who is now on parole, claimed that the now defunct Thai Rak Thai was a party which introduced several changes to Thai society, ranging from the 30-baht universal health security system to village funds and price guarantees for farm products.

He claimed that the Pheu Thai party has been carrying on with the reformist policies of its predecessor and is now embarking on the “digital wallet” scheme, which he described as a “super new idea”.

“Today, we are definitely not stuck with antiquated issues, because the world has changed and the Pheu Thai party must change,” said Thaksin, adding that capitalism that lacks compassion will not make people happy and reaching out to the people, physically or through the media, is important.

He said he has confidence in Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, whom he believes will be able to lead the country because he was an experienced business executive, adding that having extensive connections is important.

Regarding his youngest daughter Paetongtarn, the Pheu Thai party leader, Thaksin said that he is confident that she is capable of leading the party to restore its glorious past, because she has the DNA of her mother, Khunying Potjaman Damapong, and himself.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Srettha, in his address to party members, vowed that he would dedicate himself, physically and mentally, during his term in office to leading the party to victory in the next general election.

“Today, our lawn may not be green, but we have fertiliser and a lawn mower. If we all help out, our lawn will turn green. This is our home, we must overcome our bitter past,” said Srettha.

The prime minister said that he will never be a loser all the time, adding that, in his capacity as prime minister, his only wish is to bring about positive transition and to restore victory for the Pheu Thai party in the next election.