Anwar victory seen as ‘protest’


Anwar Salae, a son of Kamnan Ye Charang, was the Democrats’ last choice to compete against Thai Rak Thai’s seasoned political campaigner Viroj Pipitpakdi, a four-time winner in Pattani’s Constituency 1.

But the little-known candidate is now the constituency’s MP after pulling off a victory on Sunday in what many observers see as more of a protest against Thai Rak Thai than an endorsement of Anwar.

Anwar, a genuine political novice, has absolutely no experience but was able to call upon the network of friends and connections cultivated by his father, Akachai Salae, known locally as Kamnan Ye Charang.

Born in Pattani’s Yaring district 35 years ago, Anwar went to high school in Pattani before completing a BA in business administration at Ramkhamhaeng University.

He spent years in Bangkok selling property before returning to Pattani to start his own construction business.

Anwar is not keen on making public appearances or presentations. Many of his canvassers said he didn’t even know how to approach people to garner their support.

Indeed, his lack of political experience and skill has led many observers to suggest that his victory was due largely to the desire of many Pattani residents to elect a Democrat to protest Thaksin Shinawatra’s handling of the violence in the South.

Published on February 08, 2005

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