Property tsar hits the campaign trail
Srettha Thavisin, president and CEO of real estate developer Sansiri Plc, has transferred his shares in the company to his daughter as he prepares to throw himself into the political fray.
Mr Srettha, who also serves as an adviser to Paetongtarn Shinawatra, Pheu Thai’s chief adviser on public participation and innovation and head of the “Pheu Thai Family”, previously took unpaid leave from his job as Sansiri’s president and chief executive, saying he did so to help the party’s election campaign.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr Srettha on Wednesday transferred his 661,002,734 shares in the company to his daughter Chananda Thavisin.
Mr Srettha wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday that he has transferred his shares in order to scale down his role in the private sector and show his sincerity in pursuing a political career.
Mr Srettha and Ms Paetongtarn are among the figures Pheu Thai has touted as potential prime ministerial candidates.
During a pre-election campaign trip to Ayutthaya’s Phak Hai district on Friday, Mr Srettha reiterated that the share transfer is intended to avoid a possible conflict of interest as he enters politics. He said this was his first campaign trip to listen to the grievances of local people.
“This is the first time I have visited and listened to what people have to say about their problems. We are determined to find ways to solve them,” he said.
Local residents, mostly farmers, have complained about rising prices of fertiliser and falling prices of paddy rice, he said, adding Pheu Thai has come up with a policy to increase farmers’ income threefold.
However, the high costs of fertiliser depend on global pricing mechanisms that are hard to control, he said, adding the party has a policy to build local plants to manufacture organic fertilisers to replace chemical ones, which should help make them more affordable. Mr Srettha said Pheu Thai would unveil more policies to stimulate economic growth next Friday.
Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew previously said the party had set the bar higher and is targeting at least 310 House seats — up from 250 — to form a single-party government after the next general election.
Meanwhile, Rangsiman Rome, a list-MP of the Move Forward Party (MFP), said the party will not ally itself with either the ruling Palang Pracharath Party or the United Thai Nation Party (UTN), which now has Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha as its chief strategist. Mr Rangsiman said the MFP wants to overcome the legacy of the latest coup and restore true democracy to the country.