Activity among political parties ratchets up once again


Bangkok – Political parties were again active this past weekend in preparation for the general election next year.

Former ministers, Members of Parliament (MPs) and current academics, entrepreneurs and celebrities were seen applying to join the Phalang Pracharat Party with notable entrants including Suriya Juengroongruangkij and Somsak Thepsuthin, leading to 60 individuals signing on.

Party leader Uttama Saowanayon welcomed all and said that the party must be united with no divisions or splinter groups so that it can move beyond past conflicts. He brushed off any issue arising from the fact that four of the party’s members are serving Cabinet ministers.

The “Three Friends” group, which includes Suriya and Somsak, voiced confidence that the party will take up almost all MP seats due to its strong policies and proven record.

The National Development Party meanwhile held its first ever party meeting, which focused on selecting party executives and vetting over 300 membership applications. The meeting resulted in Chanathip Tamsamai being made party leader, Panat Phucharoen deputy leader and Pongsak Chantasirisawad secretary-general. The party’s policy is to remedy all social issues from inequality to a lack of economic opportunity for grassroots communities. It will also seek to setup a Ministry of SMEs while developing education, labor and accommodation of senior citizens.

The Prachachart Party held its second major congress to select additional party board members and establish a candidate selection committee. The party is led by Wan Muhamad Noor Matha with Pol Col Tawee Sodsong serving as party secretary-general. Worawee Makudee was also placed in the selection committee. The party has announced a platform of remedying poverty, narcotics and southern unrest. Notable during its congress was an application for membership by Nahathai Tiwpaingam, a former member of the Thai Rak Thai party.

At the Thai Rak Chart party, leader Lt Preechapol Pongpanich welcomed and lauded new members Thongchai Jaidee, Noei Nahathai Lekbumrung and Dr. Sriyada Palimaphan , saying that the three noted individuals are sure to help diversify the party’s appeal. Chaturong Chaisaeng and Nuttawut Saikua have also announced that they will apply for membership of the party.