Four announce setup of new political party

Four announce setup of new political party

'Ruam Thai United' aims to transform Thailand into developed country

Four founders introduce online their new Ruam Thai United Party on Thursday. From left are Nitchanat Sudlapa, Voranai Vanijaka, Win Sutheerachai and Apirat Sirinavin. (Photo from ณิชนัจทน์ สุดลาภา Sarina Thai Facebook)
Four founders introduce online their new Ruam Thai United Party on Thursday. From left are Nitchanat Sudlapa, Voranai Vanijaka, Win Sutheerachai and Apirat Sirinavin. (Photo from ณิชนัจทน์ สุดลาภา Sarina Thai Facebook)

Four people have announced they will set up a political party called "Ruam Thai United" to contest in the next general election.

Win Sutheerachai, Voranai Vanijaka, Apirat Sirinavin and Nitchanat Sudlapa held an online briefing on Thursday.

Mr Win, a property and steel tycoon, on Wednesday announced his resignation as party-list MP of the Move Forward Party, citing the "changing situation and context".

"I ended my role as an MP to pursue my ideology which I had stated from the start," he wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.

Mr Voranai, a former editor and columnist at the Bangkok Post, is the founder and editor-in-chief of Thisrupt.co online news outlet.

Mr Apirat is a former leader and the only party-list MP of the Mahachon Party in the 2011 election.

Nitchanat Sudlapa is a transgender model known at the international fashion scene as "Sarina Thai" and a campaigner for social diversity and equal opportunities.

The four founders said the party was a cooperation of people from different backgrounds who shared a desire to see positive changes and a developed Thailand.

They plan to do so under the concept of "thinking together, doing together and creating together".

Mr Win said that for 30 years Thailand had remained a developing country so he thought it was high time for change.

He proposed two approaches, short- and long-term, to make Thailand a developed country sustainably.

On the party's independence, Mr Win said: "We insist we're a brand-new group with no one behind to pull the strings."

Discussing what the party would do if it is elected and has to work with other parties, Mr Win said: "What we could not accept is the perpetuation of power. We can't accept that senators are allowed to vote on a prime minister."

He said his party would embrace only parties that truly came from the voice of the people.

In a similar note, Mr Voranai raised the question why Thailand remained a developing country with the kind of budgets it spent every year while other countries overtook it.

"Our goal is for politics, the economy, society and education to move forward.

"We're no one's nominee. If we become the government, we won't ever throw banana [skin] at reporters, pat our subordinates' heads or spray [alcohol] on people. Our goal is to develop the country but there's a problem — we need 376 MPs to reform the country," he said, referring to the magic number of MPs needed to vote on a prime minister of their choosing without being overruled by appointed senators under the constitution in effect now.

The first thing the new party would do if given a chance is to shut down the fake news centre and replace it with the centre for freedom of thoughts to really hear the people, Mr Voranai said.

Mr Apirak said that for 11 years he was the leader of a party and was desperate that he had been able to do anything meaningful for the country.

"But now I see it in us to uphold democracy and get over conflicts...If allowed, the first thing I would do is to promote understanding and national unity," he said.

Ms Nitchanat said she would promote rights, freedom and equality among all groups and get rid of gender discrimination, especially at work.

"All of us have equal potential, if only we were allowed to pursue our goals," she said.

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