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PM disses debates “I just don’t see the necessity to take part”

The Thaiger & The Nation



PM disses debates “I just don’t see the necessity to take part” | The Thaiger

by Kas Chanwanpen

A prime ministerial candidate is refusing to take part in any of the televised political debates in the lead up to the election on March 24.

Dismissing growing calls to join the up-coming round of debates, NCPO chief General Prayut Chan-o-cha has affirmed that he attached no importance to the calls for him to outline his vision, arguing the debate stage was more about politics than policy discussions.

“I’ve long been prepared for this. But today, I just don’t see the necessity to take part,” Prayut said yesterday during his weekly press briefing, when asked about the calls for him to participate in the televised debates.

“It’s not about me being scared. It’s just that we only see them attacking each other. There’s no substance. This is no debate.”

Prayut, who is now the sole prime ministerial candidate of the pro-junta Phalang Pracharat Party, stressed that he would not join any of the debate sessions.

“It’s just that I’m working. I don’t have time for this eloquence thing.”

Prayut is known to be short-tempered with limited oral communication and public-speaking skills. So, while most PM candidates from all parties are living up to the election hype and joining the debates to show their leadership vision, all eyes are on the general, waiting to see how he would skirt the challenge.

Other contenders have been picking on Prayut for his absence from the prime ministerial debates.

Political scientists, meanwhile, want all candidates, including the general, to outline their vision to help voters make up their minds before casting their ballots.

In response, Prayut said plainly yesterday that his vision has been clear all along and can be seen in the government’s tagline: “Security, Prosperity and Sustainability”, which he said was based on the self-sufficiency philosophy of the late King Rama IX.

“That’s all for my vision,” Prayut concluded before elaborating that his government in the past five years had already laid out all the work on national strategy as well as other relevant legislation.

Prior to Prayut’s outright rejection of the debates, his affiliated party, Phalang Pracharat, had appeared reluctant to send him to the debates, citing legal implications given his current status as the PM and head of the ruling NCPO.

They have sent a query to the Election Commission but the agency has yet to give a reply on the legality.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Some election results out by 8pm Sunday night

The Thaiger & The Nation



Some election results out by 8pm Sunday night | The Thaiger

More than 92,000 polling stations will be operating this Sunday for the national poll to elect a new Government. Seven million new voters, eligible since the last poll in 2011, will make a new impact on the election results making predictions more complex than in the past.

Election results will start dribbling out of smaller polling booths just an hour after voting in this Sunday’s national election.

Voting will close at 5pm on Sunday, according to the Election Commission.

The EC secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma says results can be expected in less than an hour from smaller polling stations, adding that unofficial results from at least 95 per cent of the polling stations should be ready by 8pm on Sunday.

These results will reveal the number of constituency seats won by each party, but figures on party-list seats will not be released until after the EC has officially endorsed the election results, Jarungvith added.

“The agency will not do the calculations to find out the number of party-list MPs on Sunday. Also, numbers may change, especially if by-elections are required or if ballots need to be recounted in some areas. We can only reveal the results once we have endorsed the votes,” he said.

A private group led by rights watchdog iLaw have launched the website to serve as a platform for updates on election results and as a means to prevent fraud during the counting of ballots.

Those participating in ballot counting can take photographs of the counting board and post the pictures on the website, while those keeping track of the vote-count on TV or online platforms can enter tallies or upload photos on the website.

The group said the results displayed on the website will later be compared by the official results released by the EC to ensure transparency.

Meanwhile the Health Department is issuing tips advising voters to get at least six hours sleep before casting their vote.

Voters are being urged to wear light clothes because the temperature on Sunday is expected to rise up to 40C in central and northern parts of the country and up to 35 or 36 in southern areas.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Foreign Affairs denies attempts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong

Kritsada Mueanhawong



Foreign Affairs denies attempts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The happy couple and ‘dad’, in HK for tomorrow’s wedding

The director of the foreign affairs department of the public prosecutor’s office in Thailand says media reports that the Thai officials are trying to extradite former PM and fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra in Hong Kong, are wrong.

Daily News reports that Chatchachom Akkhapin says there was no truth in stories of efforts to extradite Thaksin from Hong Kong.

Thaksin is in Hong Kong from tomorrow (Friday) to attend the wedding of his youngest daughter Paetongtarn “Ing” Shinawatra to a commercial pilot.

Chatchachom says no contact had been made with Hong Kong authorities but he concedes that, even  though Thailand and Hong Kong have no formal extradition treaty, it would still be possible to request the return of a wanted fugitive if the evidence presented was sufficient.

In the first instance he says they would need to ascertain the address of Thaksin in Hong Kong and the public prosecutor’s office don’t know where Thaksin is staying.

The denial follows a post on “Thaksinlive” on Instagram earlier this week that indicated Thaksin would be in Hong Kong for “Ing’s” wedding on March 22.

Read The Thaiger’s report, that the Department has now denied, HERE.

SOURCE: Daily News

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Chiang Mai

Man caught masturbating in front of election banner in Lampang

Kritsada Mueanhawong



Man caught masturbating in front of election banner in Lampang | The Thaiger

Locals in Lampang in Thailand’s north have complained to the media that an older man had been caught on dash cam masturbating in front of an election banner for a female candidate for this Sunday’s election.

Sanook reports that the woman in the poster was ‘attractive’.

The man, estimated to be between 60 – 70 years old, was shown in Thung Fai sub-district repeatedly rubbing the poster of the female candidate with his left hand before using the same hand to masturbate.

When he realised he was being filmed he abruptly stopped. Locals told Sanook that they caught the man behaving like this before, although The Thaiger notes the last election was back in 2011.

SOURCE: Sanook

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