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Dramatic Party Resignations: Thailand’s Political Future in Jeopardy – Young Leaders to Emerge?

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Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-on revealed that he plans to resign as Democrat secretary-general after the party chooses its new leader and executives on July 13. The decision on whether to select a younger individual as the party’s new leader will be left to a committee during the general assembly.

Jurin Laksanawisit announced his resignation as party leader after the May 14 election’s unofficial results revealed the country’s oldest party had won far fewer House seats than anticipated. When questioned about the likelihood of the party forming a political alliance with Pheu Thai, should the Move Forward Party fail to obtain sufficient support from parliament members for a new coalition, Mr. Chalermchai said such an arrangement would require approval through a formal party resolution.

Upon leaving his role as secretary-general, Mr. Chalermchai plans to continue as a general member. He also dismissed rumors that the Democrats have engaged in discussions with Pheu Thai and agreed to join the party’s alleged effort to create a new government, cautioning against believing such speculation.

Deputy Interior Minister Naris Khamnurak, a former Democrat MP for Phatthalung, also refuted claims of a clandestine agreement, explaining that the Democrats make crucial decisions through formal party resolutions. According to Mr. Khamnurak, no such proposal has been presented or discussed. He emphasized that the party should await the Election Commission’s certification of all 25 elected MPs, who will comprise 70% of the new board members, before taking any action.

Regarding potential restructuring, Mr. Khamnurak indicated that the party must first assess the reasons behind its disappointing House seat results before determining the extent to which younger members may be promoted into executive or even leadership positions.

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