11 July 2024
Democrat acting party leader Jurin Laksanavisit was today chosen as the new party leader, succeeding Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva who resigned in late March after the party suffered a humiliating defeat in the general election.
Mr. Jurin received 160 votes, including 135 from party members and 25 from the party’s MPs, beating the three other candidates, Mr. Piraphan Saliratthapark who came second with 102 votes, Mr. Korn Chatikavanij who received 19 votes and former Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayothin who received ten votes.
The votes came from two groups, 52 MPs and 239 non-MP members. Altogether 275 party members, including the 52 MPs, were present at the special meeting to elect the new party leader.
A native of the southern province of Phang-nga, Jurin is an 11-time MP, six terms as constituency MP for Phang-nga and five as a party-list MP.  He has served as Prime Minister’s Office Minister, Public Health Minister, Deputy Commerce Minister and Deputy Agriculture Minister.
Mr. Jurin’s initial task, along with the new executive committee and the 52 MPs, is to make a decision on whether to join the Palang Pracharat-led coalition alliance in forming the new government and support General Prayut Chan-o-cha’s bid to be the next prime minister.
Both the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties are considered “kingmakers” and their decisions regarding which coalition grouping to join is crucial to success in forming the government, albeit with a slim majority.