One of the strangest moves ever: Thaksin takes over the Phalang Dharma Party


(Source: Full page ad in Bangkok Post, June 1, 1995)

Thaksin takes over - June 9, 2010

These are full-page ads from the Bangkok Post in 1995 introducing the public to Thaksin's leadership of the Phalang Dharma Party, a party founded by Chamlong Srimuang (at right above). The party views included anti-corruption and had a leadership that followed an offshoot of Buddhism that included many ascetic beliefs.
This handover was one of the strangest moves ever in Thai politics. How Chamlong, an eccentric and austere religious vegetarian, could have seen a crony capitalist like Thaksin as his natural successor is still debated.
Within ten years Chumlong himself was in the cross-hairs of Thaksin's government: Chamlong becomes an enemy – Thaksin hits his political mentor with land encroachment charges

Above: from Bangkok Post, June 1, 1995
It reads: Honesty, morality is Phalang Dharma - "Today I admit that the political party that is devoted, honest and concentrates on the work holding moral principles with no vote buying is the Phalang Dharma - Today national politics needs change and the next generation must rejuvenate and devote more for the next generation for the next election - I take the role on behalf of Chamlong Srimuang today. What you have faith in [in the party] will not change and will be maintained further. I will bring my life experience and my administration experience from now on. I hope every one of you believe that the Phalang Dharma Party will step forward to the goal as you have expected." - Police Lieutenant Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra - Phalang Dharma Party leader.


(Source: Full page ad in Bangkok Post, June 5, 1995)

From Bangkok Post, June 5, 1995
The ad reads: Change Thailand's political face so the country can compete with the world - Police Lieutenant Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra, Phalang Dharma Party leader, quality and morality

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