Conflict in Palang Pracharat resolved as Sam Mitr group withdraws demands

The conflict over cabinet seat allocation in the Palang Pracharat party has been settled after the Sam Mitr faction agreed to withdraw their demand for the reinstatement of Mr. Suriya Juangroongruantkit as the energy minister and for the expulsion of party secretary-general Sontirat Sontijirawong.

Party leader Uttama Savanayana and two co-leaders of the Sam Mitr faction, Mr. Suriya and Mr. Somsak Thepsuthin, appeared at a news conference at the party’s head office today to confirm that the conflict was over and that they agree to give Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha full authority to decide on the cabinet lineup.

Mr. Uttama said that conflict had been just a difference of opinions in the party, which is part of the democratic process, adding that the Sam Mitr group just reflected the opinions of its members, and the matter had already been resolved.

Mr. Suriya, meanwhile, said the Sam Mitr group was confused by reported changes in the cabinet list, especially with the name of Mr. Anucha Nakasai being deleted from the line-up, adding that Mr. Anucha was very upset because he had been dedicated to the party all along, by recruiting veteran politicians to join and even opting out of contesting the election in his constituency, despite the good chance of winning.

“The news conference today was intended to show that the Sam Mitr group does not want to cause trouble for the prime minister,” said Suriya.

Mr. Somsak, in the meantime, said the group had dropped its demand for the expulsion of Mr. Sontirat, the party secretary who was slated to become energy minister in place of Mr. Suriya.

“Today the conflict in the party is over and we are moving forward. This is a party in a democratic system which is receptive to divergent opinions, because everyone wants to work for the people.  This is our spirit.  Don’t talk about a coup, this is no coup,” said Uttama.


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