'Madam Dear' joins race to lead Democrats

'Madam Dear' joins race to lead Democrats

Watanya: Pushing 3 measures
Watanya: Pushing 3 measures

Watanya "Madam Dear" Bunnag, a former list-MP who defected in August to the Democrat Party from the Palang Pracharath Party, has thrown her hat in the ring to lead the country's oldest party. The election will be held on Dec 9.

Ms Watanya, 39, now chairwoman of the party's political innovation committee, announced her decision to run for party leadership on Wednesday, saying she intended to serve as a viable alternative.

She was confident most members would choose someone with the attributes of a true leader over a person with business or political connections.

She also urged party members not to attach too much importance to gender or seniority in considering their choice.

Ms Watanya will compete with Narapat Kaeothong, acting party leader, who has affirmed he will be in the running for the leadership.

Announcing her candidacy yesterday, Ms Watanya said she is looking to introduce three measures she believed would make the party thrive again.

Narapat: Recalls glory days

If chosen as leader, she vowed to revive the Democrats' unique ideology, which has existed for 77 years, make it a real party of the people by allowing as much public participation in the party's affairs as possible, and instil a new pro-liberalism economic ideology while supporting the welfare state system and decentralisation of power. She also stressed the party would continue its role as an active opposition party.

Mr Narapat said on Wednesday he believes the party has shed none of its former glory. The party draws its strength from its internal power structure, where every major decision is put to a vote among executives.

Past problems which might have made the party appear to lack unity stemmed from poor internal communication, which needs to be addressed, he said.

If trusted to be the party's new leader, his first mission would be to gather opinions from party members as to what should be done to make the party more popular. These opinions would be compiled and turned into the party's new working policy, he said.

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