SATURDAY, February 24, 2024

‘Madam Dear’ calls for party unity to restore Democrat glory days

‘Madam Dear’ calls for party unity to restore Democrat glory days

Democrat leadership candidate Watanya "Madam Dear" Bunnag has called on party members to join hands in restoring Thailand’s oldest political outfit to its glory days.

Watanya said the Democrats face a crucial turning point as the opposition party prepares to elect a new leader on December 9.

The party has come under strong scrutiny regarding its stance on democracy, she said in Facebook video posted on Friday. A rival faction in the leadership contest is reportedly seeking to join the coalition government.

Watanya, who chairs the party’s political innovation team, said the Democrats had experienced ups and downs over their 77 years in politics but had always adhered to democratic principles.

"I am putting myself forward as an alternative for Democrat leadership. I invite everyone to join forces in revitalising the party, creating change, and fostering a new political culture focused on national interests and voter trust, rather than personal gain,” she said.

The former businesswoman, who is married to Nation Group CEO Chai Bunnag, also vowed that her leadership would be inclusive, welcoming input from all stakeholders regardless of gender, age and other factors.

The Democrats have already held two meetings to elect a new leader but both failed after party members from one faction boycotted the votes. A new rule to allow reserve voters is expected to result in the successful election of a leader on December 9.

Watanya’s main rival in the contest is Democrat acting deputy leader Narapat Kaeothong.

The party was reduced to just 25 MPs at the election in May.