EX-PM Thaksin confident pro-democracy forces would win Thai election
AN alliance of pro-democracy parties would defeat pro-military parties in Thailand’s general election next year if it is held freely and fairly, ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Thursday.
“I think the pro-democracy parties, all together, will win more than 300 (lower house) seats out of 500. It’s time for (voters) to cast their ballots ...to dump the dictatorship of Thailand,” Thaksin said in an interview with Kyodo News amid a visit to Hong Kong.
The 69-year-old policemanturned-telecoms mogul, who was ousted as premier in a bloodless military coup in 2006, said his party, which has won every national election since 2001, will surely do well at the polls tentatively scheduled for February 24 because many voters believe it “always has a solution for them.”
“Every time we become government, they feel they prosper, especially the people in the middle class and the lower class people. The people need a party that can have a solution for their lives, more than a party with a lot of authority, a lot of excess power, which (does not) allow them to have more freedom,” he said.
Thaksin said he is “quite certain” the polls will take place as scheduled on February 24 since Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, who came to power in another bloodless military coup in 2014, has “promised internationally several times” to proceed with it, after several delays.
“It’s his last chance to keep his word,” he said, adding that to do otherwise would “not be good for the country.”
Thaksin said that under the junta’s rule “you cannot expect any kind of true democracy, you cannot expect any (fairness).”
He and his younger sister, former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, are both living abroad, in London and elsewhere, as fugitives from justice. They face arrest if they return home, after being convicted of various corruption and abuse of power charges.
“The rule of law has not been observed, judges can write their own law and the justice system can be intervened by the junta in every step,” he said. “Where there is no justice, why (do) you have to surrender yourself (to) injustice?”
Thaksin was prime minister from 2001 until 2006, while Yingluck served from 2011 to 2014, when she was ousted by the country’s Constitutional Court, shortly before the latest coup.
With regard to his family’s future role in Thai politics, Thaksin said, “It’s time for us to step back, let the party run itself professionally.”