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Motherland Party (Peua Paendin)

The Motherland Party was formed with former Thai Rak Thai figures at its core; their network provided the bulk of the party's support in the Northeast. The party leader was Suwit Khunkitti, former Deputy Prime Minister in the Thaksin, Chuan, and Chavalit administrations. The group also included Bangkok-based former TRT celebrities, such as former Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and former spokesman Suranand Vejjajiva. However, the figures associated with this party claimed to represent neutrality in the 2007 election, neither pro- nor anti-Thaksin.

Although launched in 2007, the party was showing some momentum, and appeared to be well-funded. Other figures associated with the party included:

  • Retired General Pallop Pinmanee, controversial hardliner on South issues. His colorful past includes participation in several coups during the 1980's;
  • Waemahadi Waedaoh, respected doctor from the far South who was arrested in 2003 on suspicion of links to Jemaah Islamiyah; charges were dismissed in 2005. He was a member of the current interim legislature;
  • Vatana Asavahame, whose reputation was damaged by public revelations in the early 1990's that he was ineligible for a U.S. visa because he had profited from the drug trade.

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