Government not ready for snap election, Korn says
The Pheu Thai Party's loss in Sunday's Don Muang by-election is unlikely to force the government to call a snap election, Democrat deputy leader Korn Chatikavanij says.
- Published: 18/06/2013 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Mr Korn said the Yingluck Shinawatra administration is short of accomplishments to dissolve the House and call an election. Virtually every core ministry faces policy flops, he said.
Moreover, the Commerce Ministry and Finance Ministry face questions over the rice-pledging scheme, while the Public Health Ministry, Energy Ministry and Education Ministry also face attacks over their policy initiatives.
"The prime minister can't clarify the government's failures," he said. "She is avoiding questions, which shows the government isn't ready to go to the polls."
Mr Korn said Ms Yingluck is more likely to reshuffle her cabinet before the House reconvenes on Aug 1.
- EDITORIAL: Reality bites Pheu Thai
A Pheu Thai Party source said party member Yuranunt Pamornmontri may have a shot at a cabinet seat in the anticipated reshuffle after his defeat in the by-election.
Mr Yuranunt resigned as a party list-MP to run against Democrat Party candidate Tankhun Jitt-itsara. He lost by about 2,000 votes, according to the unofficial tally. PM's Office Minister Sansanee Nakpong could be axed to make way for Mr Yuranunt, the source said.
The change would probably not cause a stir within the party because both Ms Sansanee and Mr Yuranunt are part of a faction controlled by Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan.
The source said Pheu Thai's strategy committee had assessed the election and blamed the election loss, in part, on the current anti-government campaign.
The committee is unhappy with cabinet ministers' poor public relations work and their failure to clarify problems which leaves the prime minister vulnerable to criticism, the source said.
The source said the committee also admitted the Democrat candidate had worked hard for people in Don Muang, especially during the 2011 floods.
Ms Yingluck Monday conceded defeat in the by-election and said the Pheu Thai candidate did not have enough time to campaign for votes.
She also played down reports the defeat was a major loss for the party, which had dominated Don Muang for almost four decades. "Don't see it as a loss," she said. "A general election and a by-election are different."
Ms Yingluck said general elections are about party policy while local polls draw on other concerns. "Mr Yuranunt had only 18 days to meet the voters," she said.
Pheu Thai leader Charupong Ruangsuwan said Mr Yuranunt was considered new to Don Muang voters compared with the Democrat candidate.
He also said the defeat has nothing to do with either the 350-billion-baht flood and water management scheme, or the rice-pledging programme that have come under attack.
Mr Charupong said the party would give Mr Yuranunt a job in the government so he could continue to contribute.
"I will ask the premier to give him a post of a minister's secretary or assistant minister when there's a vacancy," he said.Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit rejected speculation that the party's popularity was on the wane, saying Mr Yuranunt lost due to a drop in voter turn-out.
About the author
- Writer: Nattaya Chetchotiros, Aekarach Sattaburuth & Manop Thip-Osod