Jurin to be Democrat Party’s PM candidate in next election
The Democrat Party is still united under the leadership of Jurin Laksanawisit who will be nominated as the party’s prime minister candidate despite mass defections of former MPs and speculation about resignations by current MPs, the party’s spokesman said.
Democrat spokesman Rames Ratanachaweng said on Wednesday the party is confident that its supporters acknowledge and accept the capability of Jurin who has proved himself with integrity during his long political journey.
“We are confident that the people have realised about the long political journey of Jurin, who has proved his capability and his integrity,” Rames said.
“He has experience in both the executive and legislative branches with clear-cut achievements. For the next general election, Jurin will be the Democrat prime ministerial candidate and we are confident he will receive public support.”
He said the Democrat has fully made preparations for the next election in both party’s platform and tentative candidates in several provinces.
“We are simply waiting for the right timing to announce the candidates,” the spokesman added.
The Election Commission has announced May 7 as the tentative election date, if the current House completes its four-year tenure as scheduled on March 24.
The Democrat spokesman said the party cannot tell whether the House would be dissolved before March 24 because the power to dissolve the House belongs to the prime minister.
“It won’t be long before the next election will come up and the Democrats are always ready for it,” the spokesman added.
Regarding mass defections of former MPs and speculation of many current MPs also bolting the party, Rames said the resignations had nothing to do with the party.
He said individual Democrat politicians make their own decisions for their own political career and the party respected their decisions.
“They had personal reasons for resignations and they had no conflicts with the party, the party leader, secretary-general or with the executive board,” Rames said.
“It’s not fair to say that they quit because of internal conflicts. We hereby affirm that the party is not reeling from the resignations. We still move on by adhering to the public and national interests,” Rames said.
There have been rumours that several active MPs of the Democrat, Thailand’s oldest political party, would quit the party once the House is dissolved or shortly before the House completes its term so that they could join new parties to contest the next election.
It has been reported that many were unhappy with Jurin’s leadership and had decided to leave – mostly quietly to avoid damaging the party’s reputation.
Jurin was elected Democrat leader after Abhisit Vejjajiva failed to lead the Democrat to political victory in the 2019 election. Many blamed the party’s defeat on Abhisit’s announcement before the 2019 election that the Democrat would not support General Prayut Chan-o-cha for prime minister.
Over 20 former MPs have left the party since the 2019 election. The latest resignation was of veteran Democrat member Trairong Suwannakhiri, who was reported to have joined the newly-established Ruam Thai Sang Chart (RTSC) Party. Trairong quit the Democrat on October 27.
Big-name Democrats who quit this year included Thavorn Senniam, Thawil Praisont, Witthaya Kaewparadai, and Ekkanat Promphan.
Assoc Prof Dr Yutthaporn Isarachai, a political science lecturer at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, said in his recent political analysis that Jurin’s leadership might not be well accepted among Democrat veterans and the party under his leadership lacks unity.
Yuthtaporn expects some 10 Democrat MPs to follow Trairong and join the RTSC. He said the Democrat Party may win fewer than 30 House seats in the next election.