July 8 - Thailand's Prime Minister elect Yingluck Shinawatra says she wants to keep campaign promises, but will be flexible; adds baht free float will stay. Arnold Gay reports.
Thailand's Prime Minister elect Yingluck Shinawatra says she wants to keep all the promises she made during her campaign, but adds she will be flexible about policies that just won't work. Yingluck says the people of Thailand will ultimately have to decide how to get past the big and difficult issues. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRIME MINISTER-ELECT YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA, SAYING: "If when we implemented and we found the problem and we found that, that is the big issue, so I think we're willing to tell the fact and the truth to the country, and make the country to make decision. So I won't just like be stubborn and just launch without thinking about the consequence and effect." Economists warn that following through with all of Puea Thai's promises, which includes a 40 percent hike in the minimum wage, would cause a wage price spiral. But Yingluck believes her party's policies will help raise domestic consumption and GDP, with just a slight rise in inflation. She also stressed that the baht would keep its free float status, dismissing earlier comments from her economics chief Suchart Thadathamrongvej. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRIME MINSITER-ELECT YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA, SAYING: "We prefer to go by baht market. Yes, but I think this issue quite sensitive, so that's why I think, let me work on, after we get the formality, with the finance minister, so we can have more clearly in the policy. We don't aim to control the baht" Thailand's central bank intervenes only to curb excess volatility in the local currency. Turning to her brother, the self-exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Yingluck says she does not know when he will return to Thailand. She says that's up to the Truth for Reconciliation Commission. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRIME MINSITER-ELECT YINGLUCK SHINAWATRA, SAYING: "All the solutions have to make, unite, Thailand, and reconciliation and everyone accepts the process. That's of key importance. But it should not just be slow, but I think Dr. Kanit (chairman of reconciliation committee) should accelerate all the process and make it fast and clear to Thailand." The commission was set up to investigate political violence in April and May last year. The pro-Thaksin "red shirt" movement wants justice for its members who were killed or maimed, when the army moved against them during a lengthy protest in Bangkok last year. But analysts say Yingluck must avoid antagonizing the army, which toppled her brother when he was prime minister in 2006. Arnold Gay, Reuters.