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Thanathorn to request registration of new party on Thursday

Mar 14. 2018
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By The Nation

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Car-parts billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit will submit a request to the Election Commission on Thursday to found a new political party.

The so-called “young blood” announced his intentions on Facebook on Wednesday.

The billionaire is expected to join forces with Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, an academic from Thammasat University’s Faculty of Law, to set up the party.

Thanathorn, 39, is vice executive chairman of Thai Summit Group, a multi-billion-baht automotive parts maker. He is also the nephew of Suriya Juangroongruangkit, who was transport minister in the Thaksin Shinawatra government.

He is promising “progressive new alternatives”, pledging to fix what is wrong with the politics of the old. However, critics have asked whether Thanathorn has real intentions to serve the country or is just a rich person who wants to become a politician to serve his business interests, as other wealthy business people have done before him.

Social-media fans of Thanathorn have sought suggestions for a name for his new party.

The hashtag #helpThanathornnamehisparty became a top Twitter trend last week. Tweets with the hashtag range from serious and playful name suggestions to pitches for products for sale. There were even messages from foreign Twitter users who have no idea who Thanathorn is.

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