11 July 2024

21 Democrat MPs agreed on Thursday to invite former party secretary-general Chalermchai Srion to take the party leader’s post, which has been vacant since Jurin Laksanawisit stepped down on the night of the May 14th election day to accept responsibility for the party’s poor showing at the polls.

Short of three former party leaders, namely Chuan Leekpai, Banyat Bantadtan and Jurin, currently party-list MPs, and Songkhla MP Sanphet Boonyamanee, the group of 21 MPs are confident that Chalermchai will be elected as the new party leader at a meeting this Saturday. They collectively represent 51% percent of the votes.

They are not sure, however, that Chalermchai will accept their invitation, as he announced his decision to wash his hands of politics following the party’s devastating defeat in the general election.

Pramual Pongthawaradet, chairman of the Democrat MPs, told the media on Thursday that the group is seriously concerned that the meeting this Saturday, to elect the new party leader, may not materialise after two previous attempts failed due to a lack of a quorum.

He claimed that Chalermchai is most appropriate person to assume the post, because he has good relationships with all factions within the party.

At least two party members, Narathip Kaewthong, acting deputy leader, and Watanya Wongopasi, have officially announced their candidacies for election this Saturday.

Chalermchai has previously voiced his support for Watanya’s candidacy.