Viroj to lead Pheu Thai

Viroj to lead Pheu Thai

Members of the embattled Pheu Thai Party yesterday elected Pol Lt Gen Viroj Pao-in as the party's new leader, and kept Phumtham Vechayachai as secretary-general.

Pol Lt Gen Viroj and Mr Phumtham had already been serving as acting leader and acting secretary-general of the party.

The appointments were confirmed at the party's general assembly which was held yesterday.

Held at the party's headquarters on New Phetchaburi Road, about 300 key figures and members turned up to elect a new leader, 15 new executives and an 11-member committee to screen election candidates.

Election Commission (EC) officials were also in attendance as observers.

Four newly-elected deputy leaders are Plodprasop Suraswadi, Kittiratt Na-Ranong, Kriang Kaltinand and Pol Lt Gen Somsak Janthapink.

Laddawan Wongsriwong, a former deputy labour minister and core party member, was chosen as party spokeswoman.

Sanoh Thienthong, a senior member, was named party chairman.

Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan was also named chairwoman of the party's election strategy committee.

Her task is to formulate strategies to prepare for the general election expected in late February.

Khunying Sudarat was reported to have been listed as one of the party's three candidates for the post of prime minister, although she would not confirm this.

"It is too soon for the party to nominate its candidate for prime minister and I would rather focus on working out the party's election strategy first," she told the Bangkok Post.

The EC is currently looking into whether fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is controlling the affairs of the party, which could result in its dissolution for violating the law on political parties.

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