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SA KAEO, Thailand: Politics is a family matter for the Thienthong clan, one of Thailand’s most enduring political dynasties, with five members running from two different parties in next month’s general election.

They are one of many families woven into Thailand’s political fabric. The most notable of these is the Shinawatra family, whose patriarch Thaksin served as prime minister from his 2001 until he was prime minister until 2006, and which continues to wield great influence even after defecting abroad.

The financial rewards for the elected office, where legislators earn around US$3,500 a month, may be little more than pocket money for these ultra-wealthy clans, but the impact it brings is more than their business interests. can bring great benefits to

The Thien Tong family have made their fortunes through successful logistics operations in the eastern heartland, including the main border crossing into Cambodia, and have dominated the region’s politics since the 1970s.

in the For the May 14th votetheir names are plastered on campaign posters along rough country roads in impoverished rural Sa Kaeo province.

Kwanruen Thienthong, daughter Treenuch and nephew Sorawong are vying for three constituency seats in Sa Kaeo.

Sorawong is running for the largest opposition party, Hhu Thai, which tops the polls, but the two women belong to the military-backed Parampracharat Party (PPRP), which leads the outgoing ruling coalition. ing.

Sorawong’s brother is also running for Pheu Thai. He in the Bangkok constituency is Surachart and Surakiat on the party list.

“Politics is politics. Family is family. We are different politically, but we are still family,” Sorawong told AFP.

Treenuch began his career as an MP in Pheu Thai’s predecessor political party more than 20 years ago, but switched to the PPRP and was re-elected in 2019, serving as Minister of Education.

For Sa Kaeo voters, the clan’s field record is more important than party name or political ideology.

“They go to every neighborhood and help when there is work or when the locals ask for help,” Treenuch supporter Sirinthip Sawangkloi told AFP at a riotous rally. rice field. One Family, Five Candidates: A Dynasty Rules Thailand’s Countryside

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