Abhisit Under Fire Over Comments on Pheu Thai’s Election Chances

Pheu Thai members have strongly criticized former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva over his remarks that the party expected to win the upcoming election to pardon Thaksin Shinawatra.

Speaking on the “Sapah Thee Sam” YouTube channel, Mr. Abhisit said he had no problem with a potential victory for Pheu Thai in the next election. But he explained he was concerned that the party administration would take actions that would undermine good governance’s principles, such as allowing the ousted primer to come back to Thailand.

Mr. Abhisit stated that he thought that a poll victory was a “mandate from the people” to work for the country and drive politics. However, he added that it was not a license to do something against legal principles.

After such comments, the former prime minister came under fire from the main opposition party. Advisor to Pheu Thai Party leader Phumtham Wechayachai responded by asking Mr. Abhisit to clean up the mess in his own party, the Democratic Party.

Recently, the Democratic Party was embroiled in a controversy over allegations of sexual misconduct. Also, its members have been pressured to clarify their role in the 2014 coup.

Pheu Thai MP for Bangkok Wan Ubamrung was also among those who harshly criticized Mr. Abhisit. He wrote on Facebook that the Democrat Party should get its house in order first, adding that leaving the Shinawatra family out of politics should be written on charter.

Pheu Thai MP for Ubon Ratchathani Somkid Chueaknong also accused the Democratic Party and Mr. Abhisit for their alleged involvement in the 2014 coup.

Meanwhile, another Pheu Thai member named Chaturon Chaisang claimed that the former prime minister’s remarks intended to discourage people from voting for the party.

Mr. Chaturon stated he did not understand why Mr. Abhisit had warned Thais not to vote for Pheu Thai and risk a coup considering the “serious damage the last coup caused.” However, the former prime minister denied such claims on Monday.

Deposed Prime Minister Thaksin’s son, Panthongtae “Oak” Shinawatra, also wrote a Twitter message in response to Mr. Abhisit’s comments, saying: “If you want to rescue the party from scandal, just do it. Don’t use others as a tool.”