It’s a three-horse race for Democrat party leadership
As anticipated, only three candidates applied to join the race for the Democrat party leadership after the one-day application for candidacy closed at 4.30 pm today.
The three contenders are former party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, former Phitsanulok MP Warong Dejkitvigrom and Alongkorn Polabutr who quit the party four years ago to join the junta-appointed National Reform Steering Council.
In a show of political sportsmanship, the three rivals endorsed the candidacy of one another. According to the party’s election rules, each candidate needs endorsements by a certain number of former MPs to qualify for the race.
Before the drawing of lots to determine their election numbers, Alongkorn asked Abhisit to endorse his candidacy, admitting that he was still short of needed endorsements. Abhisit willingly complied with the request and even gave him signatures from two additional former MPs.
Alongkorn also received the signature of another former Rayong MP with the courtesy of Dr Warong. He thanked both Abhisit and Warong for giving him a chance to contest for the party leadership and opted out of the lot drawing, saying he would take the Number 3 for the race.
Dr Warong was the first to draw lots and received Number 2, automatically leaving Number 1 to Abhisit.
Primary voting will take place on November 5 nationwide. But electronic voting will be held during November 1-5 while general assembly to choose the party leader and the executive committee is scheduled on November 11.
Eligible voters are divided into three groups: present members who number about 80,000; new members who applied for memberships before October 15 and old members numbering about 2.5 million whose memberships were abrogated by the National Council for Peace and Order last year but they are required to reconfirm their memberships to be eligible to vote in the primary election.