Aanstaande zondag, 3 juli, worden in Thailand algemene verkiezingen gehouden voor een nieuw parlement. Een spannende dag voor veel Thai.

Zoals de polls nu uitwijzen, willen de meeste Thai iets anders dan de huidige regering. Expats en pensionado’s mogen niet stemmen. Toch is het interessant om te weten waar de voorkeur van Nederlanders naar uitgaat. Speciaal van de Nederlanders die in Thailand wonen.

Nieuwe Poll: op wie stem jij?

Je kunt vanaf vandaag toch je stem uitbrengen en wel op Thailandblog. Er staat een nieuwe poll in de linkerkolom.

Mocht je nog wat meer willen weten over de partijen die aan de verkiezingen deelnemen. Lees dan de onderstaande (Engelstalige) toelichting even.

Vergeet niet te stemmen, dan kunnen wij volgende week onze uitslag bekend maken.

DEMOCRAT PARTY

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s party has not won a general election in two decades and only came to power in a parliamentary vote in 2008 after the previous ruling party was dissolved by the courts.

The Democrats have strong support in the south and Bangkok and are popular with middle-class voters. It is seen as the most capable party for handling the economy.

While the Democrats enjoy backing from conservative elites and the military’s top brass, they have struggled to win over the poor, the majority of Thai voters. [ID:nL3E7HF0IL] Hence, the party has launched a series of populist programs to try to broaden its support.

PUEA THAI PARTY (For Thais Party)

Puea Thai is the latest incarnation of ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s Thai Rak Thai Party, which won election landslides in 2001 and 2005. Thaksin controls Puea Thai from self-imposed exile in Dubai and its campaign is built around his image and his populist policies. His sister, Yingluck, a 44-year-old businesswoman, is its candidate to be prime minister.

Puea Thai’s stronghold is the vote-rich north and northeast and it has the backing of the powerful “red shirts,” a protest movement of the rural and urban poor. However, that association may be a turn off for swing voters, as might be Puea Thais idea of a possible general amnesty that would help Thaksin to return home, a scenario that could trigger more turmoil.

Early opinion polls Puea Thai has a comfortable lead over the Democrats, but the party has powerful enemies among the establishment and military elites and might have difficulty forming a coalition.

BHUMJAI THAI PARTY (Pride of Thailand Party)

The second-biggest partner in the ruling coalition, Bhumjai Thai is controlled by influential power-broker Newin Chidchob, a right-hand-man to Thaksin before turning against him. The party has formed an alliance with the Chart Thai Pattana Party to gain political leverage in anticipation of a new coalition, however, that deal is seen more as rhetoric than a reality.

Bhumjai Thai politicians were implicated in numerous corruption scandals that dogged Abhisit’s government. It has a fierce rivalry with Puea Thai. Many of its lawmakers are former Thaksin allies who defected and Puea Thai members have ruled out the possibility of the two parties forming a coalition. Early polls suggest Bhumjai Thai has not increased its support.

Its policy pledges include a 2 percentage point cut in value-added tax, a crop price guarantee fund for farmers and monthly payments to elderly and medical volunteers.

CHART THAI PATTANA PARTY (Thai Nation Development Party)

Controlled by banned politician Banharn Silpa-archa, Chart Thai Pattana enjoys solid support in the central region and is promoting national reconciliation to appeal to Thais fed up with constant political upheaval. With Banharn’s deal-making skills, it will be central to any horse-trading if another coalition is on the cards. Most analysts say Chart Thai is the most likely party to agree to join a Puea Thai-led coalition. However, Banharn’s record suggests his loyalty can never be guaranteed.

CHART PATTANA PUEA PANDIN PARTY (Nation Development for the Homeland Party)

A new party that is effectively an amalgamation of two coalition members, Ruam Jai Thai Chart Pattana and Puea Pandin and run by banned politician Suwat Liptapanlop. It is using fuel subsidies, sports development and a drive to take Thailand to the soccer World Cup to draw voters, fielding soccer stars and former Olympic medalists as candidates. Suwat is a former ally of Thaksin and is seen as another potential coalition partner, if Puea Thai beat the Democrats by a big enough margin.

MATABHUM PARTY (Motherland Party)

Led by 2006 coup-maker General Sonthi Boonyaratakalin, Matabhum’s target voters are ethnic Malay Muslims in the south, home to a violent separatist movement. It is aiming for eight of the 11 seats available, which would be a blow to the Democrats.

RAK SANTI PARTY (Peace Lovers Party)

Ex-policeman Purachai Piumsombun, who co-founded Thai Rak Thai with erstwhile ally Thaksin, has made a comeback with this new party and could garner some support with his clean image as a former social order crusader. Rak Santi members deny the party is a nominee to help Puea Thai by splitting the vote in Bangkok, a Democrat stronghold that offers 33 house seats.

RAK PRATHET THAI PARTY (Love Thailand Party)

A new party led by former massage parlor tycoon and self-styled graft-buster Chuwit Kamolvisit, Thailand’s most colorful politician. His charisma, celebrity status and comical marketing campaign has earned his tiny party a good showing in opinion polls, illustrating his appeal among voters bored by politics.

SOCIAL ACTION PARTY

Part of the current coalition with just one portfolio, the party has kept a low profile so far.

Bron: Reuters


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