BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (pic left) blew his top over comments Move Forward Party’s patriarch Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit (pic right) made targeting his Pheu Thai Party.
Thaksin said he was puzzled by the attack. He was speaking on the CareTalk x Care ClubHouse programme broadcast live on Facebook on Tuesday (March 21) night.
“I’m puzzled that Thanathorn came out to attack Pheu Thai. Some have said that Move Forward is becoming like the Democrat Party, and I think so too,” Thaksin said.
Thanathorn was leader of the Future Forward Party, which was dissolved by the Constitutional Court in February 2020 for violating the political party law.
After the party was dissolved, Move Forward was formed to house the remaining members.
Thanathorn, who has been helping Move Forward with its campaign, recently took a shot at Pheu Thai in a TV interview without mentioning it by name.
“This party has been buying Ban Yai [big house]. This Ban Yai clan of this province has been jumping back and forth, clearly insulting voters,” Thanathorn said without elaborating.
The Khunpluem family, a powerful political dynasty based in Chonburi, has defected from the ruling Palang Pracharath Party to join Pheu Thai. It vows to sweep up Chonburi’s House seats.
“Sometimes this big house stayed with the side that supported the coup, then jumped to the side that is against the dictators in disguise. It has no ideals at all. It’s unbelievable. You won’t see Move Forward act like that at all,” Thanathorn said.
Thaksin, meanwhile, did not elaborate on how Move Forward was becoming like the Democrat Party, but in the past, he often slammed the Democrats for their “holier than thou” attitude.
Thaksin also said that Pheu Thai has not made any pre-poll alliances with any party.
“Pheu Thai does not have any branches and has never held talks with anyone. They will not shake hands with anyone to cut deals in advance,” he said.
As for Pheu Thai enlisting Thaksin’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra as the party’s flag carrier, the former PM said the campaign slogan is suitable for her. Pheu Thai’s election slogan is “Thaksin’s DNA Thinks, Thaksin’s DNA Acts”.
He said his daughter’s quest for the prime minister’s post was different from when his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra contested for the post.
“When Khun Pu [Yingluck] contested, it was different. My daughter has a different character. She is straightforward and decisive. She is outspoken and doesn’t tell lies,” he said. “When Khun Pu contested, she used the slogan ‘Thaksin Thinks, Pheu Thai Acts’.”
Thaksin reiterated that he believes his daughter is well qualified for the PM’s job.
“Some have asked me if Unging [Paetongtarn] is qualified to become the prime minister. I’ll say she can be a very good prime minister. I can’t guide her, she must make her own decisions,” he said, adding that he was proud his daughter has devoted herself to working for Pheu Thai.
“As the founder of Thai Rak Thai Party [Pheu Thai’s predecessor], I’m very proud of her devotion. Even though she is late in her pregnancy, she is still devoted. She has what I lack – her mother’s DNA – so I believe she will do better than me as prime minister,” Thaksin said.