Abhisit pins hopes for seats on reform plan
The Democrat Party's executive board will consider a reform proposal Tuesday that it hopes will win it more House seats in the next election, its leader Abhisit Vejjajiva says.
- Published: 8/10/2013 at 01:15 AM
- Newspaper section: news
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has been active on the campaign trail for the past few months, speaking to large and small crowds in Bangkok and up-country. (Bangkok Post photo)
He said the zoning of constituencies is deemed the most significant development in the restructuring attempt to help the party win more House seats.
There will be committees responsible for the management of the constituency zones and they will report directly to the party leader and secretary-general.
Mr Abhisit said the new structure will enable the Democrat Party to fight with confidence in the lower North, thus giving it a better chance of winning in Phitsanulok, Nakhon Sawan, Kamphaeng Phet, Tak, Phetchabun, Sukhothai and even Uttaradit.
Under the new structure, a deputy party leader will oversee the overall strategy, he said. Based on the current structure, a deputy leader is responsible for a whole region.
Mr Abhisit said this new structure is necessary because it was too much to expect a deputy leader to increase the level of support in an entire region. It is hard enough to maintain the current support base.
He said each area will need a different strategy. In some northeastern constituencies, the party's popularity is strong but when it comes to constituency-based elections the party fails to win seats.
The party's popularity needs to be translated into votes and seats, he said, noting that he hoped the new structure will address this shortfall.
He said the popularity of the Democrats in Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan and Pathum Thani is strong but the party has zero MPs.
However, he said that does not mean the party would not try to penetrate the northeastern region, the stronghold of the ruling Pheu Thai Party.
According to Mr Abhisit, the reform proposal will be forwarded to the Election Commission for approval once it is endorsed by the party's executive board and MPs.
The source said some party members criticised the new structure as a "centralisation of power".
According to the source, the party leader and the secretary-general will have a significant role under the new structure.
Early in the day, deputy Democrat leader Alongkorn Ponlaboot who has pushed strongly for party reform, stressed the need for the party to take the overhaul seriously.
He said the executive board would do more than draft the party regulations.
It is expected to decide if it would embrace reforms.
"I never said anything about changing the party leader. But there is a process [the party has to follow]. Once an assembly agrees to adopt the new regulations, the party board will have to go. We aren't talking about individuals here but principles.
"If we can build a strong structure, it doesn't matter who is in or who is out," he said.
He denied he had threatened to resign if his reform proposal was not accepted by the executive board.
About the author
- Writer: Pradit Ruangdit
- Position: Reporter