Party-hopper: Ex-PPRP MP’s bold Democrat Party leadership bid

Photo courtesy of The Nation Thailand

Watanya Bunnag, formerly a list MP belonging to the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), recently expressed her intention to run for the leadership of the Democrat Party (DP), following her switch to the latter in August. The election to decide the party’s leader is set to take place on December 9.

Watanya, who currently serves as the chairwoman of the Democrat Party’s political innovation committee, made her announcement yesterday, November 29. She expressed her desire to present herself as a credible alternative, confident that her leadership qualities would be favoured over any business or political affiliations.

She further encouraged party members to disregard gender and seniority when making their selections. Her competition comes in the form of Narapat Kaeothong, the acting party leader, who has confirmed his decision to also run for leadership.

To revitalise the party, 39 year old Watanya proposed three measures. Firstly, the former PPRP list-MP pledged to reinforce the Democrats’ unique ideology that has been in place for 77 years. Secondly, she aims to transform the party into a true people’s party, encouraging public involvement in the party’s affairs as much as possible. Lastly, the DP candidate plans to instill a new pro-liberalism economic ideology, whilst supporting the welfare state system and decentralisation of power. She emphasised that the party would maintain its position as an active opposition party.

Narapat, on the other hand, expressed his belief that the party has not lost its former glory. He argued that the party’s strength lies in its internal power structure, where every significant decision undergoes a vote amongst the executives. He attributed past issues that might have given the impression of a lack of unity within the party to poor internal communication, reported Bangkok Post.

If elected as the new party leader, Narapat’s initial task would be to gather suggestions from party members on how to boost the party’s popularity. These suggestions would then be collated and transformed into the party’s new working policy.

Bangkok NewsPolitics NewsThailand News

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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