6 June 2024

Former Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit has defended his decision to quit the Palang Pracharath Party to join the opposition Pheu Thai Party because, with a landslide election victory, it can push through its economic policies and guide the country through economic crises.

After four years in the coalition government, as deputy leader of the Palang Pracharath Party, Suriya said that, in a coalition government, Palang Pracharath could not control all the economic ministries and, therefore, could not solve economic problems to the satisfaction of the people.

For instance, the Commerce and Agriculture ministries are under the control of the Democrat Party, while the Transport Ministry is under the Bhumjaithai Party, leaving the Industry Ministry under his control, he said, adding that the Finance Ministry is under the control Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, an outsider who hand-picked a bureaucrat, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, to oversee the ministry.

In the wake of economic crises, Suraya said that he found the Pheu Thai Party, with its clear objective to win as many as 310 seats in the House in the upcoming election, to be an ideal party upon which the people can depend.

The former industry minister disclosed that he “shares the same DNA” as several executive committee members of the Pheu Thai Party, because he used to be a member of the Thai Rak Thai Party, a predecessor of Pheu Thai, and that his defection is like a return to his old home.

Asked about his ranking in the Pheu Thai Party’s list of party-list candidates, Suriya said that this has not yet been discussed.

Suriya and former Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin are key members of the Sam Mitr faction in the Palang Pracharath Party. Somsak has also quit the party to join the Pheu Thai Party.