Muslims Reject Prime Minister in Vote

February 7, 2005

Source: Reuters

On February 7, 2005 Reuters reported, "Thailand's Muslim far south, where more than 500 people were killed in militant violence last year, voted solidly against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in weekend general elections.

A stunned Thaksin, who had expected victories for several of his 11 candidates in the three violence-racked provinces, said on Monday the still unofficial results were a 'wake-up call' for his government.

But he insisted he would not alter his approach to what he calls a 'law and order' problem...

Thaksin had put up strong candidates well known in the region and expected a belief widespread in Thailand that only a ruling party member of parliament has the power to change policy would see several of them elected.

But many voters said they had lost faith in Thaksin, who has refused to apologise for incidents such as the death in military custody of 78 Muslims arrested after protests in October in the village of Takbai bordering Malaysia."