PM Prayut goes online
Monday, October 15, 2018: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha may be playing his cards close to his chest when it comes to whether he will enter mainstream politics, but many analysts said today disclosure about his social media accounts is giving him away.
The prime minister’s deputy secretary-general, Puttipong Punnakan, has announced that Prayut is now officially on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Political figures use the social media for one reason only, the analysts said. Prayut must be thinking about boosting his rating through the online accounts, they stated.
Whether Prayut is learning from Donald Trump is open to debate. The latter has had a large social media following, but that does not necessarily mean he’s getting more popular. The most obvious effect so far has been that the social media have enabled Trump’s contentious statements to travel faster.
Sunday, October 14, 2018: The Election Commission said today it’s counting on a Bt100,000 reward to stop vote-buying. According to EC Secretary-General Jaroongwit Phumma, evidence of vote-buying leading to a candidate being disqualified from the election will earn whoever presenting the evidence Bt100,000. Speaking at a political forum organised by the Thai Journalists Association, he said, every “witness” will be well protected.
He did not say, however, whether the reward will be split or how it will be split if more than one witnesses provided information against the same candidate.
He also warned that setting up “nominee parties” could lead to dissolution of the mother party. Whether such a possibility has anything to do with repeated denials over the past few days that some parties are affiliated with others is anyone’s guess.
Meanwhile, despite Sudarat Keyuraphan’s name having been on the front pages of most newspapers as the Pheu Thai Party’s front-running candidate for the post-election premiership, her official nomination has not taken place. Candidates will be officially named after an election decree is announced. Or many weeks from now, so to speak.