Chalermchai to quit key Democrat post

Chalermchai to quit key Democrat post

Chalermchai: Coy on Pheu Thai link
Chalermchai: Coy on Pheu Thai link

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-on said yesterday he has decided to step down as Democrat secretary-general when the party selects its new leader and executives on July 13.

Whether or not the party will select a young person to become its new leader, he said that would be for a party committee to decide at the planned general assembly.

Jurin Laksanawisit announced he was quitting as leader following the unofficial results of the May 14 election, in which the country's oldest party won far fewer House seats than expected.

And when asked how plausible it would be for the party to form a political alliance with Pheu Thai in the event that the Move Forward Party fails to garner enough support from members of parliament to form a new coalition, Mr Chalermchai simply said that such a deal would have to be backed by a formal party resolution.

As for himself, Mr Chalermchai said he will become a general member when he quits as secretary-general.

He also denied rumours that the Democrats have held talks with Pheu Thai and agreed to join the latter's alleged bid to form the new government, saying: "No, don't believe them [rumours]."

Deputy Interior Minister Naris Khamnurak, a former Democrat MP for Phatthalung, also dismissed rumours of a secret deal, saying the Democrats make all important decisions through a formal party resolution. No such proposal has been made or discussed, he said. He also said the party must wait until the Election Commission has certified all 25 of its elected MPs, as they make up 70% of its new board members.

As for a future overhaul, he said the party will have to examine the reasons it won so few House seats before deciding upon the extent to which younger members would be promoted into executive or even leadership roles.

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