The Phue Thai Party`s landslide victory in the by-election in Si Sa Ket on June 28, following hot on the heels of its by-election conquest in Sakhon Nakhon, proves the solid allegiance that northeasterners still hold for ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, Pheu Thai chairman Chalerm Yoobamrung said.
Thaksin`s popularity has brought Surachart Charnpradit his polling triumph, Chalerm said in congratulating the Pheu Thai candidate during a press conference.
Thaksin called Pornsak Charoenprasert, an MP for Si Sa Ket, asking him about the results.
When Thaksin was told that the Pheu Thai candidate beat his rival handily, he responded with a cheer and told both the Si Sa Ket and Sakhon Nakhon campaign teams to visit him in Dubai, Pornsak said.
They are expected to see Thaksin in two weeks after the Election Commission endorses them.
As of 7.30pm, the count showed the Pheu Thai candidate with 106,915 votes against just 68,560 votes for Sakulthip Angsakulkiat of the Chart Thai Pattana Party.
Somsak Prissanananthakul, a core leader of the Chart Thai Pattana Party, conceded defeat.
Some polling stations in nine districts witnessed a higher turnout than others.
EC chairman Apichart Sukhagganond said the EC accepted five election complaints about political bias by government officials, solicitation of voters by trucking them to balloting stations and mudslinging against candidates.
He said he expects the voter turnout would reach 60 per cent, higher than Sakhon Nakhon`s 58 per cent.
Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit questioned the use of funds by the Internal Security Operations Command, which held a secret meeting at a Bangkok hotel.
He suspected that the agency was mapping out tactics to block the growth of the Pheu Thai Party.
He said 11 MPs from government coalition parties and former People Power Party MPs from northern and northeastern provinces expressed interest in joining Pheu Thai because they sensed that the party`s popularity remained strong.
The Nation/Asia News Network