By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A NUMBER OF RED SHIRT activists and first-time voters might probably reject Pheu Thai candidates running for MP in the wake of scathing criticism launched against de facto Pheu Thai boss Thaksin Shinawatra, according to a noted academic.
Those Red Shirt activists who may have picked Pheu Thai candidates in a previous election plus some of an estimated six million first-time voters nationwide might probably vote for Move Forward contestants and others rather than Pheu Thai contenders in the next general election now that former Red Shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan has vehemently lambasted the former prime minister for allegedly abusing the pro-democracy movement, said Pichai Ratanadilok na Phuket, head of National Institute of Development Administration’s Political & Development Strategies Project.
Jatuporn accused Thaksin of having no democratic ideologies and merely looking to abuse the Red Shirt activists whilst, he said, the de facto Pheu Thai boss practically remains as a profit-conscious businessperson.
The NIDA academic commented that the ex-Red Shirt leader’s criticism against the de facto Pheu Thai boss will likely impair the shared sentiment of the pro-Thaksin constituents to some extent and more or less affect a much-speculated landslide victory for the Pheu Thai camp in the nationwide election.
Pichai forecast many of the first-time voters who would not know much about the deposed premier or personally prefer him over other political figures would eventually change their mind by swinging votes from the Pheu Thai to the Move Forward or another contesting party.
Nevertheless, many of the middle-aged constituents who may have voted for Pheu Thai candidates in a previous election and those Red Shirt activists who may be still staunchly loyal to Thaksin will likely pick the Pheu Thai contestants in the next race to parliament, the NIDA academic said.
Meanwhile, Pichai doubted that Thaksin would literally strut right into jail immediately upon his return from abroad whilst the deposed premier has not elaborated on it yet.
Thaksin earlier said he will by no means use the Pheu Thai or have legislation for amnesty lodged at parliament only to serve his own interests.
Thaksin only said his daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra, one of a trio of the Pheu Thai contenders for prime minister, will publicly unveil his homecoming schedules.
The ex-premier has been earlier sentenced by the Supreme Court to a combined 12 years in prison for four counts of misconduct perpetrated during his premiership about two decades ago.
Though no appeals to Supreme Court rulings can be legally accepted, Thaksin could possibly ask for royal pardon to negate his convicted jail terms but such a personal plea could potentially be a time-consuming process.
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, left, and Jatuporn Prompan, right. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Matichon
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