Published on October 22, 2007
Some of the 111 former executives of Thai Rak Thai banned from politics for five years plan to field their children in the general election as they cannot run themselves because of the court ruling that disbanded their former party.
Former Nakhon Ratchasima MP Pairoj Suwunchwee has decided to field his elder son Polapee, 25, to stand in his place.
Polapee is currently studying for his master's degree at the London College of Communication in the United Kingdom and will graduate next year, Pairoj said.
He said Polapee wanted to become a politician because he came from a family of politicians.
"He has paid attention to politics since he was young. When I was banned, local residents asked me to field my son in the poll," Pairoj said.
He said his son was unhappy with the current political situation because he supported democracy.
Pairoj said his canvassers were visiting local residents to introduce his son as the People Power Party (PPP) candidate, but the people already knew Polapee as his elder son and were ready to vote for him.
"Perhaps Polapee will not have to seek votes himself; I and my canvassers can do it. He will certainly win because the people still support me and the Thai Rak Thai, which is now PPP," he said.
Ruengwit Lik, a former Kamphaeng Phet MP, said he would also field his son Pai, 28.
Praising his son, Ruengwit said Pai was good-looking and could become a model. He was a graduate in Communication Arts from Sripatum University and studying for a master's degree in Political Science at Ramkhamhaeng University.
Ruengwit said Pai had followed politics for a long time and would have contested the general election planned for October 15 last year had it not been for the coup.
"Pai has accompanied me on campaigns since he was young, he absorbed politics from me. I am not worried about him contesting the election. I believe in his abilities," he said.
"My constituency base is strong - it might be enough to send him to Parliament."
Wisaradee Techatheerawat, 25, daughter of former Chiang Rai
MP Wisarn, said she was confident of being elected because residents of the northern province still supported Thai Rak Thai and ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
She said her father was her role model and inspired her to become a politician. "I have seen people ask for help from my father - I want to help them as my father did," she said. Following her father's political ban, she said she sought to change crisis into opportunity by meeting PPP secretary-general Surapong Suebwonglee and offering herself as a candidate.
Wisaradee denied that
she was her father's nominee, and said he initially disagreed with her decision to contest the poll.
"My father never asked me to replace him for the election. He didn't want me to run, but I want to prove that I can do it. I want to be a politician," she said.
"I have to prove that I can do it. I chose my [campaign] staff and introduced myself to local residents without any assistance from my father."
Wisaradee, who earned a master's degree in International Business Administration in England, was earlier head of the Chiang Rai Provincial Administration Office. She was also a member of the anti-coup group that held rallies at Sanam Luang earlier this year.
Wisaradee said she had seen during campaigning that former prime minister Thaksin still had influence.
"People want him to come back. But they like Khun Samak [Sundaravej] too," she said, referring to the PPP leader who is seen as Thaksin's representative.
She said she had met Thaksin recently and asked him to record a speech in the northern dialect for her to use in her campaign.