Thai election candidates lay in coffins

6 Jun 2011

Five candidates for forthcoming elections in Thailand laid down in coffins in the hope of gaining additional luck. The five, who are standing on behalf of the opposition Pheu Thai Party in the national elections on 3 July, travelled to Takien Temple in central Nonthaburi Province, near Bangkok.   

The aspiring MPs have been named as Chalong Riewrang, Montri Tungcharoentavorn, Nitad Srinon, Walaiporn Archariyaprasit and Udomdetch Ratanasatien.

Some Thais consider that lying down in a coffin will help them make merit, garner good fortune and ward off any violence. The ritual is said to signify rebirth or rising from the dead and any bad luck attached to individuals who perform it is wiped out and positive fortune replaces it.

The parliamentary candidates also requested amulets from the abbot and monks at the temple in a further attempt to prevent ill fortune and promote a successful campaign.  

The July general election follows a 10 May royal decree which saw a parliament led by Democrat prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolved.

The last general election in Thailand was on 23 December 2007 and saw in a coalition government headed by Samak Sundaravej. This government lasted for one year before it was toppled by electoral fraud convictions and Abhisit Vejjajiva took over.

Thailand, and Bangkok in particular, has seen a number of demonstrations and occupations of key areas by anti-government UDD Red Shirt supporters since 2008.    

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