Sompong Amornvivat, a close Thaksin ally, has been elected as the new head of the Pheu Thai party. The current head of the opposition will be charged with leading the party out of the doldrums and balance pro-democracy protests with the party’s relationship with Thailand’s conservative institutions.
Sompong is seen as close to the party’s patriarch Thaksin and his election could signal the former prime minister’s reemergence and reassertion in the party’s politics.
Somphong is a former ministry of industry, labour, transports, justice under previous Thaksin administrations.
The long-standing MP from Chiang Mai was a former member of the People’s Power Party that was dissolved in 2008. He was banned from politics for 5 years.
He used to be the head of the group of 16 MPs from Chart Thai and the Chart Pattana Party with prominent members such as Suchart Tancharoen Newin Chidchob, who played a major role in bringing down Chuan Leekpai’s government in 1997.
The group then joined Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai Party when it was formed in 1998.