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Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Democrat Party Jurin Laksanawisit said on Tuesday that his party is not affected by recent resignations of high-profile members, saying that they can be replaced.
“The party is not losing blood,” he told reporters at government house. “When there is problem, a party has to make a decision to get rid of festering pus.”
Jurin was referring to Anwar Saleh, an MP for Pattani who announced on Monday that he would leave the party before the next general election.
Anwar said his constituents wanted him to leave the party because they do not agree with the party leaders’ management of the party.
Anwar was a prominent figure for the party in the south before he disagreed with Jurin on many issues and he was already banned from joining the party’s meetings before voting against the party’s leader at the previous censure debate last month.
“Dech-it Khaothong, the deputy leader who is in charge of the south, told Anwar many months ago that he no longer want Anwar to join the party’s meetings to provide Anwar an opportunity to look for a new party,” said Jurin.
Anwar was not the only lawmaker who is currently looking to leave the party in this latest round of exodus. The previous round of high profile exits was caused by the sexual assault allegations against the party’s former deputy leader, Prinn Panitchpakdi.
Jurin’s comments on the resignations came after Narapat Kaewthong, a list-MP and the party’s deputy leader in charge of the north region who was recently promoted up the party-list ranking, had this week expressed his intention of resigning from the party.
Jurin said he knew about the resignation before Narapat told the public about it. Jurin said Narapat wanted to go back to work as an Assistant Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives.
The party leader said the next list-MP in line will come up the ranking and the members of list MPs were selected before the party decided to join the government therefore it was not the reason why Narapat is leaving.
Some MPs from the party do not agree with the party’s decision to join the government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha at the firsts place but the leaders of the party insist that they will continue to support Prayut’s administration at the next general election.
In case of Panich Vikitsreth, a list-MP who has been critical of the current administration and the party’s management team, Jurin said it is up to Panich on what his next move will be, as the party has yet to decide on the new ranking for the party’s list MPs for the next election.
Sources have said that Panich has been contemplating on moving into a new political party and that he would make a decision once the law allows MPs to be able to switch their political parties. As per Thai laws MPs can switch parties after November 23, 2022, without having to resign from the position or pay a fine to the Election Commission for the constituency MPs as the Election Commission would use that fine to hold the next election in the constituency. After November 23 politicians can move without having to pay the fine or resign from the position in the parliament.