Phalang Party to pick exec board in May

Phalang Party to pick exec board in May

Hopes to field full slate at next poll

The Phalang Party, a new political outfit which has been linked to the main opposition party Pheu Thai Party, is planning to hold a general assembly to elect its executive board next month.

The party, whose name means "power", has insisted it is independent of Pheu Thai, despite the fact that many of its members have been linked to the party.

At its monthly meeting, the latest of which took place on April 6, the party's members were informed the party had been granted permission by the Prime Minister's Office to incorporate the colours of the national flag in its logo.

The party's logo -- the Thai alphabet pho phan styled to resemble a raised fist -- represents the mobilisation of people from all walks of life, it said.

At the meeting, it was agreed the party will hold its first general assembly on May 9, which will elect 36 members to serve as the its executives, secretary-general, chief strategist, deputy leaders and leaders.

A source said the party also will host a forum, where former finance minister Suchart Thadathamrongvej will be the keynote speaker on the topic of Thailand's position in the global economy during the Covid-19 crisis.

The source said that a man in his 40s with a PhD in law -- who has advised many ministers and is currently holding a senior position at a state agency -- is being pushed as a potential party leader. If he decides to accept, he will need to resign from his post.

Meanwhile, Manit Jitjanklub, a former criminal court judge and former Pheu Thai MP, is said to be favoured as the chief of the party's advisory panel.

The Phalang Party was established on Oct 17 last year. It was registered with the Election Commission on Oct 22. The source said the party is poised to contest the next general election.

On April 5, Udomkiat Panmee, a party deputy leader, and Phussadee Klinthong, the party registrar, formally asked the Bangkok's election committee to observe the May 9 general assembly and to allow electronic voting to elect executives and other posts.

The Phalang will reveal the names of its core members that will head the party's branches nationwide, as the party is looking to field members to run in 350 constituencies nationwide in the next election, the source said.

The party said it believes the House will be dissolved before the government completes its term in two years, so it wants to set up branches in the provinces as soon as possible.

It will also need to admit more members and arrange primaries to select potential poll candidates. The source insisted the party is not a "spare part" of Pheu Thai, or a political outlet for the red shirts or other colour-coded groups. It hopes to attract a younger generation of politicians.

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