At first glance the by-election results put Thaksin as the winner. But when it comes to Thaksin, hardly anything can be judged by first glance.
It is interesting to read that nearly all the media cited Thaksin as the winner. That is considering the fact that he is banned from politics and was not even running. Getting back on track that nothing is as it seems with first glance with Thaksin, the fact is he was running as any MP of the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) must completely surrender their will to Thaksin if they want to be in that party. So take your pick what form of mind control that most closely resembles, a Dracula movie comes to mind with that one.
As it would be there are already allegations from the losing side that Thaksin made personal phone calls to kamnans as well as other things. That is not unusual as it completely fits how Thaksin does things hence the name of this post.
Quoting The Nation;
Party says Thaksin’s calls to kamnans made the difference, plans to file a complaint with EC
The Bhum Jai Thai Party yesterday was convincingly trounced by the Pheu Thai Party in the Sakon Nakhon MP by-election, but vowed to push on.
“This is our first battle. We have just established our party for only months. The defeat cannot be used as an indicator of our popularity,” Bhum Jai Thai deputy leader Bunjong Wongtrairat said.
An unofficial count of 90 per cent showed Pheu Thai’s Anurak Bunsol with 63,034 votes and Bhum Jai Thai’s Pitak Chansri with 20,162 votes.
Core Bhum Jai leaders, including Newin Chidchob, met at a resort in the province. They were all present at the press conference called to concede defeat except Newin, who appeared tense and kept to himself inside a restaurant at the hotel, talking on the phone.
Chaovarat Chanweerakul, the interior minister and Bhum Jai Thai leader, said the situation was not so good for the party, but the party was satisfied with the support the Sakhon Nakhon people had given, even though it was a new party.
“We have a future and we will make it better,” he said.
Bhum Jai Thai spokesman Supachai Jaisamut said the party believes Pheu Thai won the election because former premier Thaksin Shinawatra made phone calls to about 10 kamnan and village chiefs asking for their support.
He said the party was preparing to file an election complaint against Thaksin’s calls and the distribution of CDs and leaflets to constituents.
Bunjong denied that the party had underestimated Thaksin but it accepted the defeat.
A source close to Newin said Newin acknowledged the by-election result and instructed the party to work harder. The party believes its fieldwork and seminar had helped boost its votes by only 10 per cent.
The source said the party could not change the faith and belief of locals in Thaksin, which was the main reason for its losing the election.
However, the party will strive to implement its policies as its strategy to win the hearts of voters.
Election Commission chairman Apichart Sukhagganond said he was satisfied that the voter turnout had reached 70 per cent. Intense media publicity was the main reason, he said.
Seven complaints have been received including vote-buying and mudslinging, he said.
The EC would endorse the election winner within seven days if there were no complaints against him, he said.
The EC is making a speedy probe into the high absentee vote and if any irregularities were found, the disqualification would be announced soon, he said.
Pheu Thai chairman Chalerm Yoobamrung said the party swept the by-election because most people were still loyal to Thaksin and the party would project Thaksin and the populist policies he initiated for the now-defunct Thai Rak Thai Party in its future election campaigns.
He said Thaksin had called to congratulate Anurak on his election landslide.
If that is the case then the Election Commission will have a go at it with the possible result being a red card thus nullifying the election. So simply put, the election is over, but it will be a while before the dust settles. When that happens we will finally be able to see the actual end results. Connecting the Dots is placing odds on a red card being issued to the PTP with this election.
If a red card is indeed issued, you will start to better understand the battle cry of the New Politics party that was spawned from the People’s Alliance for Democracy.
I agree that Pheu Thai Party looks more like Thaksin’s personal vehicle than a real party with anything to offer to the people. This by-election was all about personality and political survival though I guess this is what happens in most by-elections anyway.