Pheu Thai's big names kick off 'landslide' bid

Pheu Thai's big names kick off 'landslide' bid

High hopes: Paetongtarn Shinawatra, centre, poses with party leader Dr Cholnan Srikaew, left, and Nattawut Saikuar, right, yesterday during their tour of Chiang Mai.
High hopes: Paetongtarn Shinawatra, centre, poses with party leader Dr Cholnan Srikaew, left, and Nattawut Saikuar, right, yesterday during their tour of Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai: The Pheu Thai Party is on a mission to win the next general election by a landslide and has vowed to secure at least 253 House seats.

Key party figures yesterday visited constituents in Chiang Mai, a major stronghold in the North, to seek support ahead of a national poll expected in the middle of next year.

They include party leader Cholnan Srikaew; Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the youngest daughter of ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra and the party's chief adviser on public participation and innovation; and veteran politician and former deputy prime minister Chaturon Chaisang.

Dr Cholnan said the party will field candidates in all 400 constituencies and it wants to boost their morale ahead of the next poll.

"Pheu Thai is ready to battle it out to win a landslide, but that will be not possible if Pheu Thai cannot win seats in all 11 constituencies in Chiang Mai,'' Dr Cholnan said.

"If we win at least 250 seats, the first thing that we will do is to push for a new constitution to restore democracy.

"But it will be even better if we can secure 253 seats including the parliament president, a deputy parliament president, and another seat just in case,'' Dr Cholnan said.

Mr Chaturon also said that whichever way the Constitutional Court rules on suspended prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's eight-year tenure, the current government cannot be allowed to stay on in power.

Therefore, nothing less than a landslide in the next election will be sufficient to begin a push to "switch off'' or remove the Senate's power to join MPs in electing a prime minister, Mr Chaturon said.

"We ask people to vote for Pheu Thai to stop the government retaining its power and we will work with our allies to amend the constitution to restore democracy,'' Mr Chaturon said.

Ms Paetongtarn also told the gathering that the party needs to win a landslide and defeat the Senate.

She also made an effort to woo local voters with promises to promote and support the agricultural sector.

"Some 40% of Thais are farmers, but their income accounts for only 8% of GDP, which is worrying. Our policy will focus on a market approach aided by innovations to boost income.

"I volunteer to be a saleswoman for Thai goods abroad. If things go according to plan, farmers will see their income increase from 10,000 to 30,000 baht per rai per year,'' Ms Paetongtarn said.

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