Thai General Election 2005

About 2B's election coverage - February 11, 2005
From a reader: ...Thanks for your coverage of the Thai elections, in Australia we received almost no news on the elections. All we got was "The elections have started" and that Thaksin had won. Your site had much more information.

For Thailand's PM, getting reelected was the easy part - BusinessWeek, February 16, 2005
Not quite: ...Thaksin's family also controls ITV, the country's leading television station...


House leaders announced - February 14, 2005
From the TV news program Kuy Kooy Khao on Channel 9 from 9:30-10:00pm: After discussion with PM Thaksin, Mr. Pokin Polkul, the former Interior minister, will be named to be the chairperson of the House of Representative. Suchat Tancharoen will be the first vice chairperson and Sutham Saengprotum will be the second vice chairperson.


Little-known parties knock older brands off the shelf - Bangkok Post, February 12, 2005
...The names of these parties are foreign to the ears of most voters. Yet they pulled in enough votes to put older and better known parties--such as the New Aspiration, the Prachakorn Thai and the Social Action parties--to shame...
Critics agreed the parties were nearing the sunset of their political lives, having lost to little-known parties many had dismissed as laughing stocks...
"Farmers and grassroots people are not ignorant. It's just that they didn't have any other choice before,'' he said.
Some observers, however, said Farmer Force's success had more to do with the party's poll number 19, similar to Thai Rak Thai's number 9. It could have been a mix-up that favoured the party...


Thailand's losing Democrats appoint caretaker leader - AP, February 10, 2005
...Abhisit Vejjajiva replaced Banyat Bantadtan, who resigned after Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his Thai Rak Thai party won a landslide victory in Sunday's polls...


Astrologers foretell the future of Thaksin--it's not good - translated from Thai Post, February 8, 2005
[This astrology 'news' is a staple of the Thai-language press and has been much talked about this week, but is absent from English-language news.]


Thailand should resist Asia's GDP fetish - Bloomberg, February 10, 2005
"GDP'' stands for gross domestic product. Here in Asia, it also could mean "gross domestic problem.''
From Indonesia to South Korea and from the Philippines to India, there's a tendency to mask challenges with headline growth rates -- preferably very fast ones. They are a form of advertising as well as a diversion. Rapid GDP gets investors' attention and helps governments paper over economic cracks...


EARTH-GODDESS STATUE: Democrat icon puts on a show - The Nation, February 10, 2005
...The one-tonne bronze statue, seated outside the party’s headquarters and in the act of wringing water from her hair, is developing a reputation for bizarre occurrences.
The latest was earlier this week when former Democrat leader Chuan Leekpai was giving a media interview. He was facing questions about possible replacements for his successor, Banyat Bantadtan, who resigned after the party’s failure in Sunday’s general election.
The candle in front of the bronze goddess was burning normally. Then it suddenly flared for a while, then the flame died.
Even though Mae Phra Thoranee’s candle was burning again yesterday, the press was captivated that a symbol was behaving with such symbolic flourish...


From the forum: Thai columnist's response to Time magazine - February 8, 2005

The rise and rise of Thailand's Amway phenomenon - Sydney Morning Herald, February 10, 2005
..."Thaksin does not know how to build an organisation," said Kavi Chongkittavorn, a long-time Thaksin critic. "All the Thai Rak Thai party identify with him, so he has no one who will come and take his place. Remove Thaksin and there is no one. The question four or five years from now is, without Thaksin, will this party hold together?"...


Blank cheque for Thai PM to turn economy 'Japanese' - New Zealand Herald, February 9, 2005
...On the surface, that may sound grand. Japan is an unusually wealthy and secure nation, one that's about as egalitarian as they come. Given Thailand's history of economic instability, it would seem this nation of 63 million could do far worse than follow that model.
Japan is also a model of political inefficiency, excessive debt accumulation and largess rarely seen in modern history. For better or worse, Thaksin is doing some Japanesque things investors may not appreciate over time. Here are four examples:
* Thailand is becoming a one-party state...
* Today's economic policies are increasing debt...
* Ambiguity about foreign direct investment...
* Taking the central bank for granted...


Election roundup - February 8, 2005

Mahachon party vows to fight on - TNA, February 8, 2005
Thaksin's victory good news for junta, bad news for opposition - The Irrawaddy, February 8, 2005
...Opposition groups fear that Thaksin may use his consolidated position of strength to support the Burmese government's plan to reconvene the National Convention this month and to control pro-democracy Burmese activists in Thailand.
"It (Thaksin’s victory) is likely to lead to a stronger relationship with the Burmese generals, with more pressure on pro-democracy groups in Thailand," said Sunai Phasuk, a consultant with Asia Human Rights Watch...

Public wants single-party government: poll - TNA, February 8, 2005
The majority of the public are fully behind the landslide victory of the Thai Rak Thai party, and want to see Thaksin Shinawatra lead the country with a one-party government, according to a poll published today...

Abhisit heavily tipped to be Democrat acting leader - TNA, February 8, 2005
Democrat deputy leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said today the new party leader would encounter heavy burden reviving the party's popularity as well as creating a better understanding on various changes...
Meanwhile, Democrat chief advisor Chuan Leekpai strongly backed Mr Abhisit as the acting party leader, saying Abhisit was the seniormost deputy leader.
Democrat executives will hand-pick the acting leader and secretary general on Friday. Secretary General Pradit Patraprasit has also tendered his resignation from the post.

New cabinet to be materialized in mid March, says PM - TNA, February 8, 2005
The new cabinet is expected to be materialized by mid March, Caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has announced.
The prime minister told journalists here this morning that he was considering who would be members of the new cabinet, and expected that the new cabinet line-up would be materialized by the middle of next month.
Earlier, the Thai leader said that many outsiders who are experts in specific areas could be invited to join in his new cabinet...


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Newspapers of February 7, 2005
Top left: Bangkok Post - Single party rule
Top middle: The Nation - One-party rule looms
Top right: Matichon - Wannor-Phokin vie to be the House of Representative chairperson - Maew (Thaksin) sets up a single party (government)
Bottom left: Khaosod - Thaksin overwhelming victory at almost 400! Democrats are shocked - lower than 100
Bottom middle: Komchadluek - Counting the vote is in turmoil - Electricity went out - Protest - Satun has to re-vote
Bottom right: Daily News - Thai Rak Thai sweep all nearly almost 400 - pitch a flag (making inroads) to acquire the Bangkok area

Election roundup - February 8, 2005
PM decides to form single-party govt - TNA, February 8, 2005
Invalid ballots rebound on red-carded Karun - Bangkok Post, February 8, 2005
Thai Rak Thai to sweep 374 seats - The Nation, February 7, 2005
No Thai Rak Thai fever in the troubled South - The Nation, February 7, 2005
Sweeping Cabinet changes in store - The Nation, February 7, 2005
A nation divided - The Nation, February 8, 2005
LOSERS: Political dynasties shown the door - The Nation, February 8, 2005
...Their dash is done – many powerful families who ruled politics like feudal lords and barons for decades have been brutally excised by vengeful voters.
The defeat of the likes of Maj-General Sanan Kachornprasart and Vatana Asavahame and their flunkeys is unprecedented – and final in most cases...

It’ll be business as usual for this ‘den of rebels’ - The Nation, February 8, 2005
...Nobody mentioned that Thaksin had singled out The Nation and our rival, the Bangkok Post, again in his criticism of the media just three days before the election. A couple of senior editors stressed the importance of the voices of the overwhelming majority. Keep your scepticism to yourself, everyone was told, because now it’s time to take a long, hard, objective look at this phenomenon that can transform Thai politics beyond recognition...
Thailand's opposition Democrat leader to resign after poll loss - AFP, February 7, 2005
Bangkok's big losers in Sunday's general election - TNA, February 7, 2005
Election results to be officially endorsed on Feb 25 - TNA, February 7, 2005
As pointed out on the forum, the Bangkok Post got their facts wrong in their lead story today: Single party rule. It was 67 years ago that Piboonsongkram came to power, not 73.
And Don Entz points out the bland article from CNN about the election: PM declares victory in Thai vote


On the forum: Exit poll too pessimistic
- February 7, 2005


(Photo: Dr. Has)

Photos of voting in Yala Province - February 6, 2005

Election roundup from the Bangkok Post - February 7, 2005
Bangkok: Democrats lose out in the capital
The South: Democrats ward off TRT invader
The Deep South: Deep South votes heavily for TRT ticket
The North: TRT becomes the 'party of the North'
The Central region: TRT seen dominating Central constituencies
The Northeast: Democrats wiped out by TRT sweep in NE
Poll: Big losers among TRT rivals
Exit poll predictions draw ire of party leaders
...Political heavyweights from the Democrat, Chart Thai and Mahachon parties called Suan Dusit Poll's outcome too cruel and said they could be wrong.
"If we don't have a single representative in Nakhon Ratchasima, I will break into the house of Virat Ratanaset, the deputy leader of the Mahachon party,'' Maj-Gen Sanan Kachornprasart, adviser to the Mahachon, said at his residence in Nonthaburi in the presence of key party figures.
"I will prostrate to Suwat Liptapanlop as I had promised to do and I will stop being an adviser to the Mahachon party if it is true because it will be very embarrassing to have garnered only one seat,'' he said.
"But if the election results do not match the exit polls, I will stamp on Mr Sukhum Chaleysub,'' he said angrily...

Chuwit not done yet with politics

Single party rule
...The outcome mirrorred the resounding re-election success 73 years ago of the now-defunct Seri Manangkasila party headed by the former strongman FM Plaek Piboonsongkram. Seri Manangkasila won 86 seats, breezing through with a parliamentary majority although the contest went down in history as the most fraud-riddled...
[As pointed out on the forum, the Bangkok Post got their facts wrong. It was 67 years ago that Piboonsongkram came to power, not 73. ]

The Post finally managed to post articles online overnight (usually they update only once a day). However, their lead piece was not posted until the morning, so all night their webpage had an unintended ironic comment on the political situation (above). Thanks to Stuart McDonald for pointing this out.

Real-time vote counting report - The Nation, February 6, 2005

One-party rule looms - The Nation, February 6, 2005
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra looked poised to establish an unprecedented one-party government in Thailand after voters - poor rural villagers and Bangkokians alike - handed his Thai Rak Thai a massive landslide victory in yesterday's general election.
The resounding mandate has yet to be officially confirmed, as vote counting only began late yesterday evening. But exit polls showed that Thai Rak Thai could win 340-399 House of Representatives seats, thanks largely to a major sweep of Bangkok, where voters apparently snubbed the opposition Democrat Party's desperate, last-ditch plea for the preservation of parliamentary checks and balances...


Less electoral complaints this election - TNA, February 6, 2005
Contrasting foreign press reports that claim the elections was the 'dirtiest ever,' TNA reports: ...There were 4,000 complaints lodged with the EC during the last election in 2001.
The EC had received almost 400 complaints before polling day according to Mr. Prinya. Most of them involved government officials acting partiality, he said. All those accused have been transferred...

Thaksin on TV - 7:02pm, February 6, 2005
Thaksin is being interviewed on iTV. When he entered the building he claimed victory and said he still had to talk with Chart Thai. The MCOT and Election Commission websites are hard to reach as people clamor for elections results.


TRT: 399 - The Nation, February 6, 2005
The ruling Thai Rak Thai Party has won an overwhelming 399 Parliamentary seats, according to Suan Dusit's exit poll.
The poll which closed at 3 pm Bangkok time today showed the Democrat Party winning just 80 seats, Chat Thai 20 seats and Mahachon 1 seat, according to the exit poll conducted by a unit of a state-owned university...


Why Thaksin succeeds - by Ron Morris, 2Bangkok.com Editor, February 6, 2005






(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above: Voters checking for their names at the polling station

Election Day 2005
Polls close at 3pm. Traffic is heavy all around town. Results are supposed to in by midnight. The weather is extremely hot--almost like the weather in April.

Below: Lining up to vote - In the background are the small tables with blinds around them where people vote.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)



Links

Election Commission of Thailand - Good info in Thai, but the English section has not been updated since the last general election. Has an out-of-date, but interesting page with info on political parties (most of which are defunct or dormant).

Election posters - 2Bangkok.com's daily election posters

The Nation's election coverage - The Nation's election coverage is the most comprehensive. However, their links page links to defunct parties with dead websites like the Palang Dharm Party which leads to a fake directory page. The candidate list is up-to-date. Below is a complete party list:


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
Almost like being there - Yala election posters: Posters from zone 1 and zone 2 - February 5, 2005
Posters along the road - Posters on vehicles - Yala intersection posters - February 4, 2005

No. 1 Chat Thai Party - 100 candidates

No. 2 Social Action Party - 5 candidates

No. 3 Pattana Chat Thai Party - 5 candidates

No. 4 Democrat Party - 100 candidates

No. 5 Thai People Party - 47 candidates

No. 6 Khonkhoplodnee Party - 28 candidates

No. 7 Thai Nature Party - 5 candidates

No. 8 Thai Ground Party - 5 candidates

No. 9 Thai Rak Thai Party - 100 candidates
TRT candiadate websites:
Orathai Thanajaro
Chalermchai Jeenawijarana

No. 10 New Aspiration Party - 20 candidates

No. 11 Mahachon Party - 100 candidates

No. 12 Thai Citizen Party - "The country have a problem. Thai Citizen Party volunteer to corrected." - 10 candidates

No. 13 Thai Chuay Thai Party - 9 candidates

No. 14 Labour Party - 7 candidates

No. 15 National Democratic Party - 7 candidates

No. 16 Kasikorn Thai - 5 candidates

No. 17 Thai Alternative - 5 candidates

No. 18 The Green Party of Thailand - 8 candidates

No. 19 The Farmer Force - 11 candidates

No. 20 People Power - 5 candidates



News

TRT leading in The Nation vote-counting forecast - The Nation, February 6, 2005

Massive turnout to pass 70 percent
- The Nation, February 6, 2005
Record turnout is expected in today's election as the polls are due to close within an hour.


What things cost: Election unlikely to be fair, clean - Bangkok Post, February 6, 2005
...Warin Thiamcharas, secretary of the People's Network for Elections in Thailand (P-Net), said his outfit had received 123 campaign fraud complaints during Jan 13-Feb 5. Forty-eight were against Thai Rak Thai, 11 Mahachon, 7 Chart Thai, and five against the Democrats. The rest did not name any party. Thirteen cases had been sent to the EC while allegations concerning two election workers in Nakhon Pathom and Phitsanulok helping canvass for certain parties were passed on to the Senate, Mr Warin said.
"It appears that cheats do not fear the law and can find various tricks to get to voters. The provincial CEO system in which leaders can pass orders direct to lower echelons could help make this possible.'' Abac Poll found in a survey of 13,836 voters in the 400 constituencies across the country that voters estimated on average that a candidate had to buy 44,025 votes to secure victory.
Respondents also estimated on average that votes were being bought for 513 baht each but in some constituencies the amount ranged from 800 baht to 2,000 baht, the pollster said.
Bangkok University Poll, meanwhile, said its survey of 2,420 people in the capital revealed voters in 24 of 37 constituencies were offered money, adding vote buying was alleged to be most rampant in constituencies 5, 2 and 36. Respondents in 13 constituencies _ 1, 10, 11, 12, 13 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 33 and 35 _ said no one asked to buy their votes. About 40% of respondents said they would vote for constituency candidates of parties that bought their support and 39% would vote for the party lists of the vote buyers, it said...


Thai leader Thaksin expected to win overwhelming mandate in general election - AP, February 6, 2005
Thais voted Sunday in elections expected to return Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to an unprecedented second term with an even bigger mandate, boosted by strong support from the rural poor and his adroit handling of the tsunami disaster...


Couch potatoes rely on TV to catch up on poll - The Nation, February 6, 2005
...Viewers can watch the election atmosphere with an entertaining spin on Channel 3 or more serious updates throughout the day on Modern Nine TV, Channel 11 and Nation Channel.
Channel 3’s political editor Kornravee Thanyatoon said the channel’s main concept is “Power of Young People to Turn Thailand”.
“Ruang Lao Sao Artit” (“Telling Story on Saturday and Sunday”) will report election news and the channel will set up a special programme with the host team of “Phu Ying Phu Ying” (“Women, Women”) to cover the election, she said...


Thaksin vows to go it alone - Bangkok Post, February 5, 2005
Thai Rak Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra has vowed to "go it alone" in forming the next government, abandoning his most loyal ally, the Chart Thai party, whose leader Banharn Silpa-archa he said is no longer trustworthy.
Mr Banharn lamely accepted his fate and insisted he would back Mr Thaksin for prime minister even though he is no longer wanted...


Latest poll shows TRT winning 336 of 500 seats - The Nation, February 4, 2005
At the bottom left of this page. Here is what the codes mean: XL = Thai Rak Thai, L = Democrats, M = Chat Thai, S = Mahachon


Thai Rak Thai to win 365 seats - The Nation, February 5, 2005
Another surrealistic Nation poll...
Here is what the codes mean:
XL = Thai Rak Thai
L = Democrats
M = Chat Thai
S = Mahachon
...The XL [Thai Rak Thai] and L [Democrats] parties will share the party-list seats between them at a 67-to-33 ratio, leaving other parties no representation via proportional voting...
The M
[Chat Thai] party, which is mounting a fierce campaign to win a House seat in Bangkok, is likely to attract less than 5 per cent of proportional votes, including an estimated 3.2 per cent from the capital.
The Election Commission projects a party would need to win a minimum of 5 per cent of the vote to qualify for one party-list seat.
The newly formed S
[Mahachon] party is expected to win less than 4 per cent of proportional votes, despite an aggressive campaign billing itself as an alternative to the majors.
The popularity of the XL
[Thai Rak Thai] party has outpaced its L [Democrats] rival in every region barring the South.
Among the minor parties, the S
[Mahachon] party is seemingly more popular than the M [Chat Thai] party, even in the M [Chat Thai] party’s own backyard, the Central region...
Should the voter turnout top 70 per cent, the XL
[Thai Rak Thai] party may secure as many as 70 party-list seats, leaving the rest to the L [Democrats] party.
In another survey by the Interior Ministry’s Department of Provincial Administration, it was found that the XL
[Thai Rak Thai] would sweep as many as 365 of the 500 House seats up for grabs, 68 of them from the party-list system, a source said yesterday.
The L
[Democrats] were expected to win 96 seats, 26 of them party-list, the S [Mahachon] 29 with six party-list seats and the M [Chat Thai] 10 with no party-list seats, said the Interior Ministry source...


Text message to vote - AFP, February 4, 2005
..."You are cordially invited to exercise your right to vote on February 6, between 8 am and 3 pm," read the message written in Thai.
Thailand's Election Commission asked all the mobile phone companies to send the message to remind people to vote in the election...


Vote-buying greatest problem for Sunday's Thailand election, poll says - AP, February 4, 2005
..."Only a buffalo would spend (billions of baht) for an election. My party has the advantage and there is no need to buy votes," said Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra last week...


EDITORIAL: Thai democracy at a crossroads - The Nation, February 5, 2005
...More than at any other time in almost 73 years of democracy, the February 6 general election represents an opportunity for Thailand’s voters to redefine the way our country is governed. At stake is nothing less than the future course of the Thai version of this most benevolent of political systems, which we have come to take for granted. Thailand stands at a crossroads...


Khon masks, puppets, archetypes and Thai leadership - Thai History Blog, February 4, 2005
...PM Thaksin himself, I am sure, doesn't know what has him in its grip. He's like someone who unknowingly put a Khon Mask over his head without having done the right dedications to its spirit, not really understanding what the spirit of this particular mask that he chose would ask of him. Any wrong moves, and the spirit punishes severely. However, he did chose the mask, and he'll have to wear it until its energies plays out its complete act...


The Nation
publishes election poll
- February 3, 2005
The Nation skirts election regulations again (like they did during the governor's race), by printing the results of a poll and listing the parties by code. Here is what the codes mean:
XL = Thai Rak Thai
L = Democrats
M = Chat Thai
S = Mahachon

Poll points to a Bangkok sweep - The Nation, February 3, 2005
The “XL” [Thai Rak Thai] party, which wants to rule alone in the next government, was the most popular party in 34 of Bangkok’s 37 constituencies as well as the preferred party-list choice, according to a survey conducted by Thammasat University and The Nation. The popularity survey, conducted between January 22-23 on 20,978 respondents in 37 districts, showed that Bangkok voters regarded local elections to be different from national polls.
In the party-list system, the survey found that “XL”
[Thai Rak Thai] was favoured by 47.3 per cent of respondents. “L” [Democrats], the party that is stressing the need for an effective opposition, was the choice of 26.5 per cent of the respondents, “M” [Chat Thai] , a medium sized party that wants to have a presence in Bangkok, was chosen by 6.9 per cent, and “S’’ [Mahachon] the party that considers itself the new alternative, was liked by 4.8 per cent...
In the constituency race, “L”
[ML Abhimongkol Sonakul] was tops in Constituency 6, comprising Bang Rak, Samphantawong and Sathorn, and Constituency 7 [Korn Chatikavanit], comprising Yannawa and Sathorn, and Constituency 30 [Ong-art Klampaibul], including Bangkok Noi, the survey showed...


Prime Minister shrugs off critical "Time" profile - TNA, February 2, 2005
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has dismissed a critical "Time" magazine assessment of his record in office published ahead of this weekend's general election, saying it is the people's judgement that matters.
In the latest edition of the US magazine, the prime minister's critics voice concern over what they describe as "Thaksinomics." The ruling Thai Rak Thai Party's economic polices are described as "little more than populist handouts" that, like a “caffeine high,” will fail to produce lasting benefits and inflict long-term economic harm...

And in Thai from Manager Online


Thai PM to win reelection, but still far from leading region: analysts - AFP, February 2, 2005
Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra wants to use a second term to build an image as Southeast Asia's leading statesman, but analysts say recent diplomatic mis-steps -- and competition from Indonesia -- are standing in his way.
Thaksin is the strongest civilian leader Thailand has seen. In early January he became the country's first elected prime minister to serve out a full four-year term and he is certain to be re-elected in February 6 polls.
Since his dash to victory in 2001, the billionaire tycoon-turned-premier has proven himself as one of Southeast Asia's most powerful and internationally recognised figures since Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad emerged in the 1980s...


TRT pamphlet with promises for future Bangkok mass transit - January 29, 2005

Interesting election articles from The Nation

TRT adds 12 seats in latest forecast - The Nation, January 31, 2004
...If the election were held today, according to the Nation Group’s seventh weekly electoral assessment as of January 28, Thai Rak Thai would win 266 of the 400 constituency seats, the Democrats would win 83, Chat Thai 35, and Mahachon 16...

REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE: Will Thai democracy be able to survive next week?
- The Nation, January 31, 2004
...Before Thaksin’s reign, there were times when opposition parties were also weak. But civil society organisations and the media would fill in and perform the watchdog role. Alternatives views coming from proactive non-official sectors and assisted by pluralistic and independent media have promoted healthy debates – one of the pivotal elements in a democratic society – on important issues such as constitutional drafting and privatisation.
The situation is much different now. Monitoring bodies mandated by the constitution – such as the Election Commission, the National Counter Corruption Commission and the Constitutional Court – no longer command public respect and trust. In the past four years, their institutional integrity and dignity have been under fire due to their partisanship. They have contributed to the overall climate of fear and intimidation, so pervasive in all strata of Thai society at this moment...

Double-tracking cartoon
- The Nation, January 31, 2004

And the 'hot' article of the week written by pseudonymous Chang Noi:
Newin: The lion of Songkhla - The Nation, January 31, 2004
...An election commissioner claims he cannot decipher the audio recording even though newspapers have transcribed it word for word. The Democrats have slipped up before by being too hasty to make use of flaky evidence...


The Nation's
election 'poll'
- January 25, 2005
Although the Election Commission has outlawed opinion polls, The Nation has created a poll based on 'local and political academics' (from this page):

How the county's 400 constituencies would be divided if the election were held January 21, 2005.
Thai Rak Thai
Democrat
Chat Thai
Mahachon
 Bangkok (37)
24
12
1
-
 Central (97)
63
15
15
4
 Northern (76)
59
9
5
3
 Northeastern (136)
98
5
18
14
 Southern (54)
10
44
-
-
 Total (400)
254
85
39
21
 Source: Nation Group's local and political academics

Opposition leader simply unmarketable - The Nation, January 18, 2005
[The best article about the mood of political supporters we have read this political season...]
...It’s cynicism versus sheer arrogance. Whereas the buoyed Thaksin fan club is saying even dogs can win the upcoming election under the Thai Rak Thai banner, desperate Democrat followers are even blaming the “Thaksin jinx” for the continuous chain of bad events befalling the country. Rumours had it that the prime minister had initiated the origami-bird campaign with a secret superstitious agenda to repel his own bad omens. He can’t do anything right, but to his supporters, he can do no wrong...


PM vows to crack down influential figures after general election
- TNA, January 11, 2005
..."If they are not suppressed, they'll always create problems. We have to wipe them out. Let's wait until after the next general election. If I am re-elected, my administration will deal with them,” he said.
But he said if the government cracked down now, it could accused of abusing its power...


Same-name candidates confuse all - Bangkok Post, January 12, 2005
..."I've been besieged by these annoying namesakes and even now spend much of my campaign time explaining the situation to villagers. People keep asking me every day about why I am running for different parties. Some seem to understand and others don't," said Mr Sathit, who is competing for the downtown constituency in the province against ex-MP Yongyod Arunwessaset of Thai Rak Thai.
The Democrat said many of his constituents had asked him the same question: "Why don't you join up with the other two and help them out because they are members of your family?"...


A very poor showing from the Democrats - The Nation, January 10, 2005

In Praise of Purachai - January 8, 2005

Political maneuvering - January 6, 2005
Purachai calls it a day on politics ‘for family’ - The Nation, January 6, 2005
...Purachai was widely tipped as a successor to Thaksin in the early days of the Thai Rak Thai government.
But his abrasive personality undermined his position in the party and the popularity of the party itself...

‘Tired’ Chavalit to quit politics - The Nation, January 6, 2005
...The former prime minister said he was already past working age and would retire to “read books”...
Chuwit may quit Chat Thai - The Nation, January 6, 2005

Lucky election numbers
Thai Rak Thai draws no.9 on ballot paper - The Nation, January 7, 2005
Mahachon trusts to lucky date - The Nation, January 8, 2004
Mahachon Party leaders have put their faith in numerologists to select the most auspicious date to register its candidates...


Thailand to hold general election on Feb. 6 - Kyodo, January 6, 2005
Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej approved Thursday a decree that sets the country's general election for Feb. 6...

2004 Bangkok Governor election
Articles on the 2004 Bangkok Governor campaign
The Bangkok Governor candidates
Bangkok Governor polls
Photoshoppers parody the campaign posters

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