PM says losing 37-year Don Mueang constituency ‘not a big loss’

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BANGKOK, June 17 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said today that several factors led to the ruling Pheu Thai party’s defeat in yesterday’s by-election in Don Mueang constituency.

She said party candidate Yuranant Pamornmontri had only 18 days to campaign and Pheu Thai’s pre-election activities were not coherent.

Don Mueang has been a ruling party stronghold for the last 37 years and the loss to Democrat candidate Tankhun Chitt-isara was, to many political observers including the opposition party, a major government loss.

The prime minister, however, said she would not describe it as a major defeat, saying a by-election and a general election are different.

Voters concentrate on a party’s policy in a general election while a by-election involves public works for residents in the constituency, she said.

Newly-elected MP Tankhun and a number of Democrat MPs and party members today led a caravan around the Don Mueang constituency to express their appreciation to the local residents for their support to the party.

Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said the party’s historic victory in Don Mueang was an indirect signal to the government to improve its performance, especially regarding the public’s economic situation, the government’s ‘lavish spending’ and ongoing internal conflicts.

Mr Tankhun said he will closely coordinate with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration in working on anti-flood measures for those living in Don Mueang.