Uttama to launch new party to take on rival PPRP

Uttama to launch new party to take on rival PPRP

Ex-finance minister Uttama Savanayana
Ex-finance minister Uttama Savanayana

Ex-finance minister Uttama Savanayana has announced he is co-founding a new party which will be in direct competition with the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) he previously led.

In a Facebook post, Mr Uttama said he and Sontirat Sonthijirawong, a former energy minister, had decided to set up the party. They were in the process of registering the party, the name of which he declined to reveal.

"As for who will be its leader, executives and what the party will be called, let's keep it under wraps for now. We need to discuss that," Mr Uttama wrote.

However, Mr Uttama noted the party registration would be completed soon and the party would be ready to launch this month.

His announcement confirmed speculation about the See Gumarn (Four Boys) group forming a new political outfit.

The group is co-led by Mr Uttama, Mr Sontirat, former higher education, science and innovations minister Suvit Maesincee, and Kobsak Pootrakul, the former prime minister's office minister.

The four quit the PPRP after they were ousted from the executive board at a party general assembly in June 2020.

The ministers left the ruling party saying they wanted to make it easy for Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to reshuffle the cabinet while the government was trying to jump-start the Covid-battered economy.

On Wednesday, Mr Uttama said he has been monitoring the economy and the political conflict with deep concern since stepping down from the cabinet and leaving the PPRP.

He said people do not see a good future for the country.

"We're creating a new, inclusive party with people who share a common ideology," he said.

He added the party will be joined by people from all walks of life, including prominent figures in the business sector, civil society and academia as well as former and present lawmakers.

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