11 July 2024

Former Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva announced his resignation from the party at its general meeting today, after he was nominated as a candidate for the party’s leadership by Chuan Leekpai.

Chuan, also a former party leader, made the surprise move at the meeting.

Abhisit resigned as party leader and MP following the party’s poor performance in the 2019 general election.

During a break in the meeting, Abhisit met with Chalermchai Sri-on for a brief chat. Abhisit later told the meeting that he had informed Chalermchai of his decision to withdraw his candidacy and to resign from the party.

The former party leader and prime minister said that he will not join another party “as my blood will be blue (the colour of the Democrat party) until my death”, adding that, in the future, he may help the party if needed.

Many party members showed up this morning at the Miracle Grand hotel in Lak Si to attend the general meeting to elect the new party leader, after the resignation of Jurin Laksanawisit following the election loss. Among the heavyweights present were former party leaders Chuan, Banyat Bantadtan and Abhisit.

Some party members raised banners supporting Chalermchai as the new leader.

A group of 21 MPs agreed unanimously yesterday to support Chalermchai’s candidature, believing that he is the only one who can save the party from further decline.

Following Abhisit’s surprise resignation, former deputy party leader and a long-time member, Sathit Pitutecha, also announced his resignation from the party.

He cited four reasons for quitting, namely that Chalermchai is breaking of his vow to wash his hands of politics, the party’s inflexibility in the face of change, the decision by a group of 16 MPs to vote for Srettha Thavisin’s premiership, in defiance of the party’s resolution to abstain and a group of party leaders, apparently referring to the MPs who support Chalermchai’s candidature, who appear more concerned with their own vested interests than with the party’s political ideology.