Politics Back in Fashion in Thailand Despite Poll Delays

Thai junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha rowed a boat across a pond dotted with lotus leaves, planted some rice stalks in a field and turned to villagers who had come to meet him in Baan Saladin village in central Thailand. Speaking of an oft-delayed general election, the 63-year-old Prayuth, who led a 2014 coup that ousted the last elected government, simply said: "Elect a good person." Prayuth was in Nakhon Pathom province last month not to campaign for an election, but to roll out his "Long-lasting Thainess" plan, which involves sending soldiers and social workers to meet with people across Thailand to listen to their problems. But the "Thainess" undertaking is widely seen as the unofficial launch of Prayuth's own campaign to stay on as prime minister. Prayuth had promised to hold an election in November, but said last week the vote would take place "no later" than February 2019. "Those in the government and the junta ... think that the situation in the country is still unsettled," said a government minister, speaking on condition of anonymity, about the series of election delays. Anti-Junta protests In Bangkok, young, middle-class Thais, have led a series of anti-junta protests, including one on Feb. 24 at Thammasat University - which Thai troops stormed in 1976, killing dozens of students in an earlier coup. Than Rittiphan, a member of the New Democracy Movement, which has helped to organize the protests, said the movement is mainly aimed at holding a general election sooner. The movement transcends the red-yellow divide in Thai politics and "has actually spread into a conflict between generations and values," he said. The students say they are pushing for a Thai meritocracy to replace what they see as corruption and nepotism in the system. The latest protests are too small to be a... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Politics Back in Fashion in Thailand Despite Poll Delays, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Politics Back in Fashion in Thailand Despite Poll Delays





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Published By: VOA NEWS - Tuesday, 6 March, 2018



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