Chalermchai Sri-on, the current Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, has announced his decision to resign as secretary-general of the Democrat Party when a new leader and executives are chosen on July 13. While it remains uncertain whether the party will select a younger leader, that decision will be made by a party committee during the upcoming general assembly.
Jurin Laksanawisit previously announced his departure from the role following the May 14 election, where the Democrat Party, the country’s oldest existing party, won a mere 25 House seats. This was a significant decrease from the 53 seats they held in 2019 and much lower than expected.
Regarding the possibility of the Democrats forming an alliance with the Pheu Thai Party if the Move Forward-led coalition falls apart, Chalermchai stated that any such agreement would require the support of a formal party resolution. Once he steps down as secretary-general, Chalermchai plans to continue as a rank-and-file member of the party.
Chalermchai also debunked recent rumors about the Democrats engaging in discussions with Pheu Thai and agreeing to join their efforts to establish a new government, urging people not to believe these claims. Deputy Interior Minister Naris Khamnurak, a former Democrat MP for Phatthalung, supported Chalermchai’s statement, emphasizing that the Democrats make all crucial decisions via a formal party resolution, and no such proposal has ever been made or discussed.
Naris further mentioned that the party must wait until the Election Commission has certified all 25 of its elected MPs, who will make up 70% of its new board members. As for the party’s future, Naris said that they would need to analyze the reasons for their disappointing election results before determining the extent to which younger members may be promoted to executive or leadership positions.