Sudarat adrift

From Naewna, November 22, 2018
Thaksin: Go take your own risk, Jae Noi [“Noi” is the nickname of Pheu Thai political heavyweight Sudarat Keyuraphan. “Jae” or “che” is a prefix attached to a name meaning “older sister.” It is from Chinese and here since Sudarat has Chinese ancestors.]
By the Krathong with Sudarat: Burn Thai Party [The cartoonist calls the Pheu Thai Party the “Burn Thai Party” in a play on Thai words. This transforms the party name to reference Red Shirt leaders who called on their supporters to burn the country in 2010.]
Caption: The first banana leaf vessel of Thaksin that must float away…

[Here Thaksin places a krathong in the river for the annual Loy Krathong festival. The krathong symbolically represents the cares of the year which should float away in the night.
The leadership of the Pheu Thai has long been in question. It has long been controlled by Thaksin family members and loyalists going back to the People Power Party in 2008. In all these cases the party gained power and then was wielded to push through contentious “reforms” clearly designed to pardon Thaksin and allow him to return to power.
This year it was thought that perhaps a more independent politician like Sudarat Keyuraphan might end up at the head of the party, putting an end to its headlong obsession with creating an amnesty for Thaksin.
In October, a political non-entity was instead elected head of the Pheu Thai and in subsequent weeks many politicians defected from the Pheu Thai to join pro-military parties or were transferred into other new parties set up to support Thaksin.
The Pheu Thai also seemed vulnerable to dissolution under new rules that prevent outsiders (such as Thaksin) from interfering in party affairs.
Thus the cartoonist suggests that powerful Sudarat, who has long hounded Thaksin to gain the leadership of the Pheu Thai, has been left to languish in an increasingly diminished party.
However, Sudarat is still widely popular and the Pheu Thai won big in the last elections despite predictions of a split electorate. News also has emerged that Thaksin’s son would join the Pheu Thai to show that Thaksin is not abandoning it.]

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