Democrats to elect new leader amid Abhisit and Watanya speculation

Photo Courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Democrat Party is set to meet and establish guidelines for selecting a new leader, with Abhisit Vejjajiva and Watanya Bunnag, head of the party’s political innovations working group, being the potential candidates.

Yesterday, party spokesperson Ramet Rattanachaweng announced that the caretaker executive panel would convene tomorrow to outline the process for choosing a new leader and appointing a new board, following Jurin Laksanawisit’s resignation as leader after the party’s significant election loss. The resignation of a leader also leads to the dissolution of the board, reported Bangkok Post. Ramet said…

“In the meeting, everyone has the right to nominate anyone as party leader. Whoever is talented and competent can also nominate themselves. Despite its defeat, it doesn’t mean the end of the party. The party has been running for 77 years. With all the things the party has done, we cannot quit political activities.”

When questioned about the Democrats’ readiness to become an opposition party, Ramet stated that the 24 Democrat MPs elected on May 14 will fulfil the responsibilities entrusted to them by voters, which includes driving policies and executing legislative duties.

“Working with other opposition parties is about the future, but it doesn’t mean we need to unify with all of them.”

Ramet also mentioned that the new panel would examine the shifts in political trends in each constituency and keep an eye on vote-buying issues, which were allegedly widespread in many provinces, particularly in the South, the party’s main stronghold.

Furthermore, he said the party would assess its election performance after securing 24 seats, a significant decrease from the 53 it won in the previous polls.

“We will also look at strategies for future elections.”

Ramet emphasised the party’s confidence that none of its candidates were involved in electoral fraud. He stated that the Democrats have pledged to take immediate action against any member found by the Election Commission to have participated in irregularities, as no one is above the law.

In addition, a party source revealed that the party’s newly elected MPs from the South believe Watanya Bunnag should be the next leader, as the 38 year old is seen as capable of modernising the country’s oldest political party.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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