New Pheu Thai team reaching out to young people

New Pheu Thai team reaching out to young people

Re-elected Pheu Thai Party leader Sompong Amornvivat greets reporters at the party's headquarters in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Re-elected Pheu Thai Party leader Sompong Amornvivat greets reporters at the party's headquarters in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Pheu Thai, the core opposition party, has a new executive board consisting of many people close to the Shinawatra family and vows to reach out to young people.

Its members elected 24 new executives at the party headquarters on Thursday. Former leader Sompong Amornvivat was re-elected.

Pheu Thai needs to be restructured and push for constitutional amendment and economic solutions, he said.

Besides, it would use technology to communicate with different generations, he said.

"Experiences of older people will be combined with the initiatives and determination of young ones. Both generations will join hands," the party leader said.

He quoted Pheu Thai's constituency MPs as saying that they had to work harder to maintain their popularity among local people.

Mr Sompong dismissed the speculation that Khunying Potjaman na Pombejra, ex-wife of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was closely controlling the party.

He also said he did not see any sign confirming the speculation that her son-in-law Nuttaphong Kunakornwong would join the party.

Speaking about Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan who recently resigned as the party's chief strategist, Mr Sompong said she remained a party member responsible for recruiting Bangkok candidates.

Thursday's election of new party executives clearly showed that Khunying Sudarat's close aides were excluded from the management, except Anudit Nakorntab, who was among 10 new deputy leaders. He was previously the party's secretary-general.

Many newly elected executives are close to Thaksin, former prime minister and his sister Yingluck Shinawatra and his sister Yaowapha Wongsawat.

The new secretary-general is Nakhon Ratchasima MP Prasert Jantararuangtong who is recognised for coordinating factions of northeastern MPs.

Wanwichit Boonprong, political science lecturer at Rangsit University, said Mr Anudit's new role as a deputy party leader showed the diminished influence of Khunying Sudarat.

Besides, the fact that more constituency MPs became party executives indicated Pheu Thai's focus on upcoming local elections.

Mr Wanwichit added that Pheu Thai had brought back people from its disbanded offshoot Thai Raksa Chart Party. Former Thai Raksa Chart candidates Pichai Naripthapan and Arunee Kasayanon became Pheu Thai's deputy leader and spokeswoman respectively.

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