Heat and the election

26 05 2011

There’s an old saying: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” PPT guesses that an Oxford-educated lad like Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva knows it. The problem he seems to have at present is that the politician is getting heat from a few red shirts when he makes appearances.

PPT would have thought that the limited heckling he’s getting is something that most politicians and experienced public speakers get used to and learn how to deal with. That doesn’t seem to be the case for Abhisit. The Bangkok Post reports that the Democrat Party leader has “criticised the EC [Election Commission] for failing to take action against red shirt supporters who obstructed his party’s campaigning.”

Abhisit is sort of showing his elite sensibilities when he complains that “his public appearances [have been] disturbed by red shirt supporters several times.” These days it seems that without blue shirts or military surrounding him, he feels uncomfortable in public and the hurly-burly of politics. We recognize that Abhisit came face to face with very hostile red shirts in 2009, and he continues to worry for his safety. At the same time, perhaps he forgets that people are ticked off at the killings of their relatives and friends.

The EC responded that parties that are linked to the use of threats in campaigning could face dissolution but also said that “trivial verbal abuse directed at candidates should not be deemed as an act of obstructing their campaigning.”

Maybe Abhisit just isn’t used to real campaigning when the government’s actions have created huge opposition. Killing people, throwing opponents in jail and censoring opposition media seems okay for him, but “trivial verbal abuse” is too much. The kitchen seems too hot!



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26 05 2011