The Puea Thai Party has asked its supporters and members to tone down the criticism being made of defectors and the “three friends” who are using state and other resources to lure them to the pro-military party.
The party’s acting secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai said that “criticism against defectors should be avoided, and it would be best for all sides to try and maintain their friendships with colleagues to chose to step across the floor.” He added: “It’s essential that we respect the politicians’ decisions…”.
Huh? Really? Reading that we thought that this was a declaration of support for the military junta by the acting secretary-general. However, reading further, we might revise that judgement but still refer to the defectors and the “three friends” as traitors.
He says the defectors will have to face the electors and he seems to think that the electorate will spurn the defectors and traitors.
More positively, Phumtham believes that those leaving leave space for “Pheu Thai to empower a younger generation of issue-led rather than career-driven politicians for whom integrity rather than personal reward is the priority.” Okay, he has the benefit of doubt and of saying something useful.
Meanwhile, another Puea Thai politician alleged that the the junta is using not just carrots but also sticks to lure Puea Thai politicians to the junta’s camp. Worawat Ua-apinyakul “alleged some politicians facing criminal investigations were being ‘pushed’ to quit their parties due to threats to expedite proceedings against them.”
While Puea Thai worries and mulls the impacts, the “three friends” group plans to “make its [public] debut with a bang…”. That’s according to one of the traitors, now the “group’s secretary Pirom Polwiset, the former Pheu Thai MP for Nakhon Ratchasima.” Pirom declared that his new group of friends “has not decided when it will make a formal bow on the political scene although he insisted it will be soon.”
Where’s the Election Commission? Not only is the group poaching MPs and offering illegal incentives while acting for “outsiders,” including ministers, The Dictator and the Deputy Dictator, but it has a secretary-general and plans a public political bash.
Under the military dictatorship, there can never be a “level playing field” and notions of free and fair elections are long ago burned and buried.