The new leader of the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party has set his sights on a clean sweep of seats in the southern region in the next election and indicated his readiness to support Prayut Chan-o-cha to continue as prime minister.
The party's first general assembly on Wednesday elected Pirapan Salirathavibhanga to be the new leader and Akanat Prompan as the secretary-general, as expected. Mr Pirapan's deputies will be named later.
Most party members attending the meetings at the Rajapruek Club were former members and MPs of the Democrat Party, including Witthaya Kaewparadai, who quit the country's oldest party in April. He is sitting as one of the executive members of Ruam Thai Sang Chart.
Mr Pirapan was a Democrat alma mater, who defected from the party in 2019 to become an advisor to Gen Prayut.
He informed the prime minister on Monday about his decision to join Ruam Thai Sang Chart.
Mr Pirapan said on Wednesday he would continue his advisory role for Gen Prayut and indicated the party's readiness to support him to be the prime minister.
But the decision would rest on the decision of the party's members, he added.
Ruam Thai Sang Chart was set up last year by Seksakol Atthawong, a staunch supporter of Gen Prayut, withThanthornthep Yaem-uthai as the leader. It was formed amid speculation that it was a vehicle for the prime minister to take over the leadership role in order to contest the next election.
Mr Seksakol, better known as Rambo Isan, later resigned from Ruam Thai Sang Chart to clear the deck for a new lineup led by Mr Pirapan.
He congratulated the new Ruam Thai Sang Chart leaders on Wednesday and said he was planning to form and lead a new party - probably called Therd Thai - with former red-shirt members.