Democrat leader Jurin ‘unaware’ of attempts by colleagues to form new party
The Democrat Party’s caretaker leader, Jurin Laksanawisit, on Thursday declined to confirm media reports that a group of former party MPs were planning to set up a new political party to be headed by former Democrat leader and ex-premier, Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Jurin said he was unaware of the reported development so he could not confirm whether it was true or not.
He did reveal that the party’s caretaker deputy secretary-general, Chaichana Dechdecho, had talked about the matter.
Chaichana told reporters earlier in the day that he did not think any of the 25 Democrat MPs would leave the party to set up a new one. But he could not speak for former party MPs, he added.
“I don’t think any of the 25 [Democrat] MPs will move to another party. But I don’t know if that would still hold true three years later when there is a new general election,” Chaichana said.
He revealed that the party’s caretaker executive board would meet early next month to discuss a solution to the ongoing deadlock over the election of a new party leader and other executives.
“The board will find a way to make sure the general meeting is free from any incident and can achieve the quorum. By October or early November at the latest, we must get a new party leader,” Chaichana said.
Two Democrat meetings held in August to elect a new leader and the executive board collapsed due to a lack of quorum. Meeting participants who support former Democrat leader Abhisit walked out of the meeting.
The leader’s seat has been vacant since Jurin, who succeeded Abhisit, stepped down after the May 14 general election to take responsibility for the Democrats’ poor performance in the polls.
Jurin on Thursday declined to accept there were cracks in his party, saying that everyone in the party was aware of their duties. “They know what to do to let the party move forward and grow again,” he said.
Jurin also said that the Democrats, now in the opposition, were ready to scrutinise the government’s policies and budget bill, in collaboration with the opposition’s largest party, Move Forward.
He also congratulated Move Forward’s new leader Chaithawat Tulathon, who is expected to become the next opposition leader.
Chaithawat was elected the new Move Forward leader at the party’s general meeting last week, replacing Pita Limjaroenrat, who stepped down after it became clear that his suspension as an MP could continue for several months. The Constitutional Court imposed the suspension pending a verdict in a case in which Pita is accused of violating the law by standing for election while holding shares in a media company.