Sudarat demands Abhisit clarify post-poll stance
Pheu Thai heavyweight Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan demanded on Monday to know whether the Democrat Party will consider joining hands with the pro-regime Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) after its leader Abhisit Vejjajiva announced he would not back Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha's return as premier after the poll.
Khunying Sudarat, a Pheu Thai prime ministerial candidate and chair of its strategy committee, said there would be two choices after the March 24 poll -- being a part of a coalition government or the opposition.
"Mr Abhisit and the Democrat Party have to choose because there is no neutral side in the House. Mr Abhisit has to spell out whether his party would join a PPRP-led coalition or not.
"Leave no room for doubt because people will think that even though you [Mr Abhisit] won't support Gen Prayut, your party is still willing to work with the PPRP," she said.
Khunying Sudarat said the Democrat leader must clarify his stance otherwise he would leave himself open to accusations of fishing for support from voters who are opposed to the regime's return to power.
Mr Abhisit's announcement was seen by some critics as an attempt to capture more votes in the run up to the March 24 election campaign.
Chadchart Sittipunt, another Pheu Thai prime ministerial candidate, said Mr Abhisit had the right to say whatever he wanted, but things would be clearer after the general election.
He also said he believed the public would like to know whether the Democrat Party would join the PPRP in forming a government rather than if it would support Gen Prayut as the post-election prime minister.
Chaturon Chaisang, an ex-member of the dissolved Thai Raksa Chart Party, doubted whether the Democrat Party would agree with Mr Abhisit's stance after the poll.
He said Mr Abhisit's announcement did not carry weight because it came at a time when the party's popularity was taking a dip.
Suraporn Danaitangtrakul, a PPRP party-list candidate, also poured scorn on Mr Abhisit's announcement.
"People are asking what the party will do first between selecting a new leader or choosing a prime minister if it fails to win 100-plus seats. That will have to wait until after the poll. But his announcement is likely to be driven by a personal agenda," he said.