THAILAND: A Clean Sweep

ELIZABETH NAAI WRITES – A Yellow-shirt “boy’s club” has Thailand’s Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, in its cross hairs. Democrat party leaders and public spokespersons air Yingluck’s dirty laundry as a further attempt to delegitimize her and undermine the February 2nd snap election.

Khao Sod daily newspaper released a video of Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, the Election Commission (EC) commissioner in charge of coordinating this election, saying “if she [PM Yingluck] doesn’t come, we’ll still send out invites, keep changing hotels to meet until we finally [zero in on] the Four Seasons Hotel. Maybe then she’ll come, no?”

The Four Seasons rumor mill began after a meeting between Yingluck, the Commerce Minister and currently unidentified businessmen. Democrat-supporting Blue Sky television hinted at an affair to provoke the PM to divulge the meeting’s roster of these unidentified businessmen.

Sexually charged character assaults against Yingluck are not new. For example, on December 22, 2013, Yellow-shirt spokesperson Dr. Jak, a frequent lecturer at Narusuan University and the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), asserted young and handsome men should be sent to sexually snare the PM at her home. Upping the ante, he claimed 50 could enter, including himself, and they should “snare her for the nation.” An air of permissibility exists if Dr. Jak can diminish the political debate to a witch hunt.

This begs the question, does Yellow-shirt leadership reflect the views of its party?

The website Top Tens, which allows users to create lists of the top ten “things” for any topic imaginable, has a “worst world leaders” list. Yingluck took second to her older brother, Thaksin Shinawatra. Adolf Hitler took third.

This website clearly reflects a Yellow-shirt view. Comments like “her government implemented many destructive policies to the country, e.g. the rice policy,” and “she got PM of Thailand because her brother [Thaksin] wanted her to be,” and “she can’t even speak her native language properly” were common. Few comments referenced her sexuality, while the majority attacked her leadership capabilities.

The Yellow-shirt party should consider taking out its dirty laundry because, while the electorate focuses the debate on the quality of Yingluck’s leadership, its representatives resort to cheap, sexist political jabs.

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