Chuan expresses loyalty to Democrat Party despite election dissatisfaction
Former Democrat leader Chuan Leekpai expressed dissatisfaction with the party’s recent election result on Saturday but pledged unwavering loyalty.
“I won’t go anywhere. No matter what, I have to stay. I owe to this party,” he said.
Chuan, considered the Democrat patriarch, said he was indebted to the party, which propelled him to the posts of prime minister, House speaker and Parliament president.
“I’m a commoner who could have been anyone because I got a chance to stay with this party. I would not have achieved that goal if I had not stayed with the party. This party gave me a chance without regarding my family’s status,” Chuan remarked.
Reflecting on his political journey, he added: “I can’t repay everything that I have got from the party. I must repay the party during my last days of political life.”
Chuan was speaking to reporters at Parliament on Sunday, the day after the Democrat Party elected acting secretary-general Chalermchai Sri-on as its ninth leader.
The election saw the resignations of former party leader and ex-prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and veteran member Satit Pitutecha.
Chuan said the resignations were unexpected, adding that he only knew that Satit would skip the party meeting because he suspected the election was “locked” in advance.
He said he had asked Satit to attend the meeting only to see him announce his resignation.
Chuan added that he was not sure how many more core members would resign, but said several members and party supporters have indicated that they will leave the party.
As for those who voted for Chalermchai, he said they told him that they voted for him because he had been taking care of them for four years.
He also expressed sorrow over Watanya “Madam Dear” Bunnag being barred from the contest due to party regulations. Encouraging her to remain with the party, he said her youth, capabilities and potential would secure her a bright future with the party.
It is believed that Abhisit and Satit quit the party because Chalermchai reportedly plans to join the ruling coalition, which includes Palang Pracharath – the party created by the 2014 coup makers.