Abhisit's birthday wish for PM
Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has sent a birthday wish as well as a political suggestion to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
- Published: 21/06/2013 at 07:00 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra pays respects at a shrine at Government House on her 46th birthday on Friday. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
"I wish you will be able to serve your four-year term and avoid doing anything to stir trouble," Mr Abhisit said in a message broadcast via the Democrat Party's Blue Sky TV channel on Friday.
Ms Yingluck turned 46 on Friday and is almost halfway through her term at the head of the Pheu Thai Party-dominated government.
She appeared cheerful on Friday but admitted that the weight of office sometimes got her down and the job could get discouraging.
"Tiredness. That might be the right word," she told reporters, adding that she would keep working to the best of her ability.
The government has been facing heavy criticism lately over losses estimated at 136 billion baht from the first year of its rice-pledging scheme, one of its most popular election promises.
Now Pheu Thai is feeling the heat from farmers threatening a rally after a cabinet decision on Wednesday to cut the rice purchase price to 12,000 baht per tonne from 15,000 baht from June 30.
"I think she is under pressure because this is a flagship policy," Mr Abhisit said.
Ms Yingluck paid respects at a shrine at Government House and told well-wishers that there was nothing special about the blue colour she was wearing.
She said her own birthday wish was to see smiles and happiness for all compatriots and prosperity for the country.
Ms Yingluck led Pheu Thai to a landslide victory over Mr Abhisit and the Democrats in the 2011 general elections.
Some observers have speculated that the premier might seek to dissolve the House late this year and call another election to consolidate Pheu Thai's power. Senior Pheu Thai figures have denied any such plan.
In wishing that his rival would complete her full four-year term, Mr Abhisit was also indicating that his own party would prefer to wait until 2015 for the next election while it attempts to reorganise and improve its strategy.
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