Pheu Thai turns its attention to social media users

Pheu Thai turns its attention to social media users

PPRP pitches help to farming families

The Pheu Thai Party campaigns for votes in Bangkok on Monday. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
The Pheu Thai Party campaigns for votes in Bangkok on Monday. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Pheu Thai candidates are being told to engage more with voters through social media platforms to maintain the party's edge ahead of the election.

In a crash course attended by some 200 election candidates on Wednesday, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, head of the "Pheu Thai Family", told participants via video link that the party was faring well in many opinion polls.

The encouraging poll results bode well for members' morale although she urged the candidates not be complacent, saying: "Anything can happen in 20 days leading up the polls."

But they should not be too concerned as competitors are not adequately prepared for the polls, she said.

Ms Paetongtarn added some parties are reliant on social media to canvass for votes, which explains their improved ranking in some surveys.

However, she insisted social media remains an effective instrument for getting campaign messages across and so she urged the candidates to do more to expand their social media engagements in the run-up to the election.

"We need to put the word out that we have what it takes to change the entire country," she said.

Pheu Thai leader, Dr Cholnan Srikaew, said the party's candidates in many constituencies command wider local support than rival candidates.

He agreed they should use social media more to communicate campaign policies to voters.

Latest handouts

The Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) has pledged to give eight million farming families across the country 30,000 baht from an agricultural fund.

It is the latest campaign pledge by the PPRP as the May 14 election edges closer.

Charnkrit Detwithak, the party's election strategy committee spokesman, said on Wednesday the fund is being submitted to the Election Commission for mandatory vetting.

He said the fund is intended to financially empower farming families and improve their living standards as many families struggle due to a lack of assistance money, he said.

The cash will be deposited into the bank accounts of eight million eligible families.

The outlay will also help stimulate the grassroots economy and raise domestic consumption, he said.

It is the most practical way to assist farmers, Mr Charnkrit said, adding the fund would not upset the country's financial stability.

End to violence

The Prachachart Party is concentrating on finding a permanent solution to the southern violence and eradicating poverty by moving the country towards becoming a welfare state.

This message was conveyed by Pol Col Thawee Sodsong, the party secretary-general, at a debate in Muang district of Songkhla on Tuesday.

The debate was organised for parties competing for House seats in the South to showcase their vision for the region.

Pol Col Thawee said security woes in the southern border provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and parts of Songkhla, brought on by ongoing insurgent violence, remain a pressing issue.

He insisted the violence must be tackled at its root and the living standards of locals improved. Poverty is a national problem that can be fixed by creating a welfare state, he said.

Among the party's top priorities is to give people equal access to welfare as well as offer 20 rai of farmland to each farming family, and free and quality education.

Dos and don'ts

The Democrat Party has kickstarted a "4 dos" and "3 don'ts" campaign to make clear where it stands on political and social issues.

Democrat leader Jurin Laksanawisit led a gathering of party heavyweights to explain the campaign at the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue on Wednesday.

With the "4 dos", the party has vowed to preserve and strengthen the constitutional monarchy, forge an honest democratic system, create a "full-stomach" democracy by building up wealth, skilled people and a strong nation, as well as eradicate illicit drugs through an eye-for-an-eye approach.

The party also voiced support for the use of cannabis for medical purposes although it was against a full liberalisation policy.

Cannabis decriminalisation was the flagship policy of its government coalition partner, the Bhumjaithai Party at the last election.

Mr Jurin said with the "3 don'ts", the party remains steadfast in its resistance to repealing Section 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lese majeste law, illicit drugs and corruption.

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