Sarng Anacot Thai eyes Somkid
Party leader Uttama also PM candidate
The newly-established Sarng Anacot Thai Party (building Thailand's future) announced on Wednesday at its general meeting to select a party leader and executive members that it would invite former deputy prime minister Somkid Jatusripitak to be the party's prime ministerial candidate.
Uttama Savanayana was named party leader while Sontirat Sontijirawong will be the party's secretary-general. The former leader and secretary-general of the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), respectively, resigned from the ruling party and their cabinet posts in 2020 due to internal conflict.
Mr Somkid, who was deputy prime minister at the time, also stepped down from the government, citing health problems.
Addressing the gathering of party members and supporters in Nonthaburi, Mr Uttama said the party would invite Mr Somkid to be a candidate for prime minister under the banner of the party whose goal was to solve economic hardship.
He said the party brought together specialists from the public and private sectors and members of the younger generation to serve in the people's interest.
The party's policies were to strengthen the country's economy, empower human resources and promote constructive politics, among others.
"The crisis arose from a prolongation of power after entering politics ... The party will stand by the people and will not accept such politics. It will work for the nation's interest, uphold the constitutional monarchy, build a true democracy and stop a false democracy that serves vested interests," Mr Uttama said.
The party executives included three former PPPR members -- Wichian Chaowalit, Supol Fongngam and Santi Kirannant -- former Democrat veteran Nipit Intarasombat as well as Suranand Vejjajiva, a former secretary-general to the prime minister during the Yingluck Shinawatra government.
Mr Wichian said Mr Somkid has no objection to serving as the party's candidate for prime minister.
"He won't manage the party, though. He will take charge of the big picture, economy and the country's problems. That's what he will do. So the party will have to be ready so that he can move the policies forward," he said.
He said the party would nominate Mr Uttama as the party's second candidate for prime minister and it had yet to consider who would be the third.
Mr Wichian declined to comment on a possible alliance with other parties that would support Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha as prime minister if he chooses to seek another term.
"We're not making him an enemy and we don't know how he will decide [on his political future]. Personally, I think he will continue in politics, but the Sang Anakhot Thai Party will nominate Mr Somkid," he said.
He said he decided to switch to Sarng Anakot Thai because it gave opportunities to people with potential and abilities rather than just political affiliations.
"I don't want to see divisiveness and factionalism among politicians, which are damaging. When they lose and can't be around, they have to leave," Mr Wichian said.
He said he would ensure the participation of party members and see to it that those with potential get a chance to work and drive the party.
A source in the party said it aimed to win at least 50 House seats from both constituency and party-list systems in the next poll. The party, he said, would be medium-sized and its strengths would lie in its economic policies.
With two ballots to be used in the next poll, the party will focus on the constituency system and will field candidates in all 400 constituencies, the source said.
- Sang Anakhot Thai