Party infighting in the ruling Palang Pracharath Party and the main opposition Pheu Thai Party seems to have spread to Thailand’s oldest political party, the Democrat Party.
Reports from inside the Democrat camp suggests that many party MPs and members are unhappy with the way the party is being managed. Inside sources tell Thai Enquirer that many MPs are ready to test the leadership of party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Jurin Laksanawisit by quitting from the executive council and forcing a leadership contest.
“There are a few MPs inside the party who have been unhappy with the way things are being run, there has been no clear communication from the top,” said a senior Democrat Party Member. “The public have also not appreciated the way the commerce ministry has been run by Khun Jurin.”
According to more than one source inside the Democrat party, certain factions within the party are ready to leave and join alternative parties including one run by former Democrat heavyweight Suthep Thaugsuban.
Others are keen to link up with former finance minister and Democrat MP Korn Chatikavanij who left earlier this year to form the Brave Party.
“There are serious concerns about the electability of the Democrat brand,” said one former Democrat parliamentarian and party adviser. “A lot of the MPs see a sinking ship and want to weigh their options.”
The source said that there also remains a strong idealist faction within the party that had rejected joining the coalition with the army-backed Palang Pracharath Party.
Palang Pracharath to decide on an election date
Members of the Palang Pracharath executive committee will meet a week from Friday to set an election date for the party’s leadership.
Eighteen members of party’s executive committee resigned earlier this month triggering a leadership contest between incumbent party leader Uttama Savanayana and deputy prime minister Prawit Wongsuwan.
Deputy Party Leader Paibul Nititawan told Thai Enquirer that it was unclear yet if the election will force Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha to reshuffle the cabinet and what impact it may have on the governing coalition.