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Asia Insight

Populist curse hangs over Thai economy as public awaits election

Agriculture, education and labor reforms will fill next leadership's to-do list


BANGKOK -- A nostalgic farmer in northeastern Thailand symbolizes how populism has gummed up the gears of the economy -- a pressing challenge for whatever government emerges from the country's highly anticipated general election.

"When Thaksin Shinawatra was our prime minister from 2001 to 2006, we could sell our rice at much higher prices," said Buadang Nakpornprai. "They aided our lives. I hope the next government will provide better support to farmers," she added.

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