By Thai Newsroom Reporters
FORMER RED SHIRT leader Nattawut Saikua today (June 18) discouraged local villagers of Sisaket from picking any future Bhumjaithai candidates running for MPs otherwise, he said, they would only look to keep Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in power beyond the next general election.
During the so-called “Chase the Rat, Swat the Cobras” campaign which featured an organised gathering of villagers clad in red T-shirts reading Pheu Thai in front of a raised platform in Uthumpornpisai district of Sisaket, Nattawut called on the attendees to not vote for any Bhumjaithai contestants for MPs in all nine constituencies of the northeastern province or else, he said, the current coalition partner, headed by Deputy Prime Minister/Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, will undoubtedly endorse the coup leader-turned-premier as head of a post-election government again.
Many of the attendees were known as constituents who have been apparently supportive of former premier/de facto Pheu Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra and voted for Pheu Thai candidates in previous elections.
Prayut has earlier made it public that he intended to prolong his rule for another five years though the Constitutional Court is yet to determine whether his maximum eight years in power as provided by law will have already been consumed by the upcoming August.
The former Red Shirt leader told the audience that all Red Shirt members had their pride and adopted the resolution to deny the unelected Prayut regime which might possibly be prolonged beyond the next general election and called on the pro-Thaksin constituents and others to only pick the Pheu Thai candidates and dump any pro-Prayut contestants.
Nattawut, who is currently heading a partisan campaign to recruit Red Shirt activists as Pheu Thai Family members, admitted that three Pheu Thai MPs will very likely leave for Anutin’s camp and confirmed that Pheu Thai Party had already made plans to send contenders vying in all nine constituencies of Sisaket.
The renegade Pheu Thai MPs who will very likely defect to Bhumjaithai Party include Jaturong Pengnorapat, Thira Traisaranakul and Pongsri Sae Jueng.
The designated Pheu Thai electoral candidates who showed up on stage included the Pheu Thai MPs who were known to remain loyal to the party and currently represent their respective constituencies of the northeastern province.
Paetongtarn Shinawatra, Thaksin’s youngest daughter, who will likely be named Pheu Thai candidate for head of a post-election government, told the audience that both her father and aunt, former premier Yingluck Shinawatra, have missed the Sisaket people and encouraged them to pick the Pheu Thai electoral candidates so that the largest opposition party could score a landslide victory and become core of a post-election government.
Paetongtarn, head of Pheu Thai Family, told the Red Shirt villagers that Prayut had undeniably robbed them of democratic rule since the former army chief staged the 2014 coup and manipulated to prolong his rule.
Top: Nattawut Saikua addressing a large crowd of Sisaket villagers today, June 18, 2022.
Front Page: Thaksin Shinawatra’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra greeting a supporter at the Sisaket gathering. Photos: Naewna
Also read: Bhumjaithai leader shrugs off Pheu Thai drive to recruit Red Shirt activists
Censure/no-confidence motion lodged against Prayut, 10 other cabinet members
Nattawut tasked with turning Red Shirt members into Pheu Thai voters
Paetongtarn still undecided whether to run for PM: Thaksin
Ex-PM Anand indicates Prayut may consider calling it quits for good