Pheu Thai up in arms over Abhisit claim

Pheu Thai up in arms over Abhisit claim

Former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva (Bangkok Post file photo)
Former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva (Bangkok Post file photo)

Former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has come under fire from Pheu Thai members over an interview in which he claimed the party wants to win the next election by a landslide in order to allow Thaksin Shinawatra to come home.

In an interview on the "Sapah Thee Sam" channel on YouTube, Mr Abhisit said while he has no issue with the Pheu Thai Party winning the next election, he has concerns about the resulting administration resorting to practices which go against the principles of good governance -- such as pardoning the ex-prime minister.

"I've always said that a poll victory is a mandate from the people, to push forward policy and work for the country, but it is not a licence to do anything, especially if it is against legal principles," he said.

Mr Abhisit's comments drew fierce criticism from the main opposition party.

Phumtham Wechayachai, adviser to the Pheu Thai Party leader, wrote on Twitter that Mr Abhisit should clean up the mess in his own party, the Democrat Party, which has been rocked by sexual misconduct allegations.

Mr Phumtham also said the Democrat Party has yet to answer questions about its role in the May 22, 2014 coup.

Panthongtae "Oak" Shinawatra, son of deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, also shot back at Mr Abhisit on Twitter. He wrote: "If you want to rescue the party from scandal, just do it. Don't use others as a tool."

Wan Ubamrung, a Pheu Thai MP for Bangkok, wrote on Facebook that it should be written in the charter that the Shinawatra family should not be involved in politics and that the Democrat Party should put its own house in order first.

Pheu Thai MP for Ubon Ratchathani Somkid Chueaknong criticised Mr Abhisit and the Democrat Party for its role in the 2014 coup.

Pheu Thai member Chaturon Chaisang said Mr Abhisit's remark was meant to discourage people from voting for Pheu Thai.

"I don't understand why he is warning people not to vote for the Pheu Thai Party and risk a coup. The whole country saw the serious damage the last coup caused," he said.

Mr Abhisit on Monday denied Mr Chaturon's claim.

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