Jurin denies 'rifts in the Democrats'
Democrat Party leader Jurin Laksanawisit has denied there are rifts in the party despite some executives reportedly threatening to quit en masse to force a leadership change in a manoeuvre similar to that seen in the ruling Palang Pracharath Party.
Commenting on reports that some party members have launched a petition to gather support for a party leadership change, Mr Jurin, who also serves as deputy prime minister and commerce minister, said the "rumours are baseless".
He said the party's executive committee led by himself is fully committed to its job, adding he has been constantly travelling across the country to meet and exchange ideas with party members and MPs.
"I think most party members understand what's going on in the party," he said.
"The Democrats are performing well in the coalition, and this was made possible by the party's decision to join the coalition.
"With good performance, the party will receive positive feedback from the people."
House Speaker Chuan Leekpai, a former Democrat leader, warned party members against creating internal conflicts, saying disharmony in the party would have an impact on its election chances.
"Don't make voters think they vote for you to fight each other," Mr Chuan said, adding party members must work closely together and the party leader must come out to explain when internal conflicts arise.
Phoomsan Seneewong Na Ayudhaya, the party's strategist for the Northeast, said the report of a party leadership change push was "fake news".
He said members of the executive committee respect the party's rules and regulations and organisational culture, and devote themselves to improving the party's popularity by working hard for the people.
Democrat Party spokesman Ramet Rattanachaweng said the party's unity remains solid under Mr Jurin who has the backing of all party members.
"Even though there are differences of opinions among members, this is normal for a political party and it will not cause any serious damage," Mr Ramet said.
He said so far no one in the party has tried to gather support for a party leadership change.