Democrats, Pheu Thai ready last rallies ahead of Sunday election

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BANGKOK, July 1 – In their last-ditch attempts to clinch more votes as the July 3 general election draws near, both the Democrat and Pheu Thai parties are scheduled to wind up their campaigns Friday evening with major rallies at key Bangkok locations to make their final appeal to undecided voters.

Thailand’s oldest political party, the Democrat Party, announced Friday that its biggest campaign rally, to be held this evening at the Royal Plaza, will focus on the future of the country with a non-violent approach, as its rival Pheu Thai Party prepared its last rally at Rajamangala Stadium.

Outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, in his capacity as Democrat Party leader with the general election looming, said he will address the crowd so that they can choose their future with their voting decision on July 3.

“The Democrat party volunteers to solve the country’s problem without the special interests of politicians,” Mr Abhisit said. “We want the people to send a clear signal that they support the parliamentary system and that they oppose violence.”

The main focus of the Democrat’s last rally will be “the future of Thailand under the same sky”, explained the Democrat leader, intending to point out to the public that they and the country will share a bright future if they walk together and strengthen the country under the constitutional monarchy.

Mr Abhisit expressed his belief that the country will still face disturbances and lose opportunities if the Democrat path is not taken, as conflict will continue, particularly concerning the question of amnesty and the return of seized assets to fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Following interest in the Thai election by the international community, including the United Nations, Mr Abhisit said it is good that the world community is paying attention to the country’s election and sees that it is conducted fairly and transparently so that all parties will respect the result.

Even as the Democrats plan their last rally at the Royal Plaza with a 600-strong police contingent to guard the venue, the Pheu Thai Party will conduct its last rally at Rajamangala National Stadium which can host up to 65,000 people Friday evening where 700 police will be deployed.

Pheu Thai top party list candidate for premiership, Yingluck Shinawatra, youngest sister of ousted ex-premier Thaksin, is scheduled to announce the party policy theme of “Thailand Vision 2020”.

Among the key policies the party aims to achieve in winning the election are building national reconciliation, raising the minimum daily wage to 1,000 baht as part of poverty eradication and to improve the country’s main infrastructure.

Ms Yingluck earlier said in her Facebook social network account that her party goals must be achieved by 2020 with the condition that the Thai people must be reconciled.

The Pheu Thai candidate asserted she will not fight with anyone and that she will not remain in office as prime minister until 2020, but she did assert that she will lay out the country’s strategies and start working immediately. (MCOT online news)