Senior leaders within the Democrat Party say they will not lead the party out of the ruling coalition despite increasing calls by members to leave.
Many rank and file Democrats have begun expressing dissatisfaction at the party’s membership in the government as the administration jumps from one blunder to the next in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The calls came to a head in a recent party meeting which saw MPs boisterously call on the party leaders to leave the coalition or face disastrous consequences at the next election.
“There are many of us who feel that if we do not leave this government, we will suffer for it during the next election,” Panich Vikitsreth, a Democrat parliamentarian, told Thai Enquirer by phone.
“We feel like the only credibility we will have is if we leave the coalition now, otherwise we will be forever associated with this failed government,” said another Democrat party member who asked not to be named.
Despite the calls by the parliamentarians and the party members to leave the coalition it is understood that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit, who is the current Democrat Party Leader, has refused outright to leave the government.
The decision is supported by House of Representative Speaker and Democrat godfather Chuan Leekpai who is also against leaving.
According to Democrat insiders, both have argued that the work they were doing was necessary to save lives and hold the government to account. Both have defended the conduct of their responsible ministries and position and said their presence was necessary to stop abuses by the ruling Palang Pracharath Party.
“I fear that to the public, they wont see that. They would just see a party unable to make a courageous decision and one eager to please the generals,” said the MP who asked to not be named.
“I fear that they may be right, that this party has lost all courage, and we will now be destroyed at the next poll.”