More than a dozen candidates in the forthcoming Thai elections have changed their names to those of former prime ministers. Less than two months before the long-awaited elections, excitement is running high. Almost 6,000 candidates turned up on the first day of registration on Monday, no one wants to miss a chance to win a seat. Party spokeswoman Ketpreeya Kaewsanmuang said 10 men had legally changed their names to Thaksin, after the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and five women had changed their name to Yingluck, after his sister who also led the nation.
“We think it is their freedom to so, and it’s not against the law and election rules,” she said. “I cannot explain it on their behalf, but my opinion is that it’s quite normal if someone wants their name to be easy to be remembered by the voters.”
One new “Thaksin” candidate, formerly known as Jiraroj Kiratisakvorakul, told the Bangkok Post that he wanted to change his name to remain memorable for voters, as strict election laws make it difficult to campaign. On the first day of candidate registration, 58 parties put their candidates forward.