Tom notes: Pheu Thai MP Karun Hosakul is competing with Chalerm for media attention these days, most recently for possible connection with the murder of a Democrat canvasser, but also for calling a Democrat spokeswoman a “buffalo” (there’s also this video of him allegedly doing the same thing to a detractor) and for capsizing a boat during the flooding with his jetski.
Looking further back, he is, of course, famous for kicking a Democrat MP in the parliament cafeteria, attacking his ex-wife at the airport, attacking a security guard at a cinema, and head-butting an undercover policeman at a cock fight.
More context: Like Chalerm, Karun is a Thai “big man” personality who cannot help from making a ruckus everywhere he goes.
But this is also a stressful time for Karun. The Bangkok governor’s election is looming. Popularity in Bangkok is key to government stability and those opposing Thaksin will want to ensure Pheu Thai does not capture the governor’s post. Don Muang area will be a key battleground and the dissatisfaction over the handling of flooding in the area greatly complicates this.
The Democrats are trying to capitalize on the situation. It was their losing MP candidate in the area that originally gathered residents together to set up road blocks and open floodgates to protest the long period of flooding. The murder of a Democrat canvasser for Don Muang is likely symptomatic of the titanic political struggle going on in the area.
April 2, 2008: Karun jump-kicks at Somkiart in parliament
April 5, 2008: Humor about Karun’s kick from Poojadkuan
December 18, 2011: Mudslinging and Murder: Rivals in Don Muang’s ‘Dirty Politics’ Face Off
June 20, 2012: Karun Hosakul red carded for outrageous claims