Democrats pledge Northeast prosperity

Democrats pledge Northeast prosperity

Leader Jurin sets sights on 99-seat haul in key election battleground

Democrat Party leader Jurin Laksanawisit
Democrat Party leader Jurin Laksanawisit

The Democrat Party has released an election campaign manifesto centring on connecting the Northeast to the world to create wealth for the region, said party leader Jurin Laksanawisit on Saturday.

Mr Jurin has also indicated he is ready to be nominated as the Democrats' prime ministerial candidate at the next poll in May.

Mr Jurin said the Democrats planned to unveil its MP candidates by region, starting with the Northeast.

Of the 132 House seats up for grabs in the Northeast, the Democrats want to vie for 99 of them. However, they will not make a final decision until after the Election Commission settles on the constituency demarcation issue, the Democrat leader said.

He added there will be politicians from the Northeast who will vie for party list seats on the Democrat's ticket.

Mr Jurin said the party will fight the poll in 400 constituencies nationwide and vie for seats on the party list as well.

Mr Jurin, also the commerce minister, said the Democrat's campaign aims to connect the Northeast to the world commercially to create wealth and prosperity for the region.

This would be forged via trade, tourism and transport as well as cultural uniqueness which appeals beyond the border.

Mr Jurin said he planned to lead a pre-election campaign tour of the region to promote its policy platform and its potential MP candidates.

The Democrats will pin their hopes on winning several House seats in the Northeast, including those in big provinces such as Nakhon Ratchasima.

Although the Democrats have won few House seats in the Northeast in the past, the party was still determined to make inroads into the region.

He added the party was unperturbed by the tough race ahead in the Northeast against heavyweights such as the Pheu Thai Party and the Bhumjaithai Party.

"It's natural for parties to compete. But the Democrats intend on outdoing themselves," he said.

While in government for many years, the party launched farm policies, such as crop price guarantees, which were both practical and helpful to the farmers, Mr Jurin said.

He was also confident the party would retain its foothold in the South, its traditional stronghold, in the next poll.

The Democrat lost many House seats it held previously in the South to unfamiliar players including Bhumjaithai and the ruling Palang Pracharath parties in the 2019 general election.

The region, with 58 House seats at stake, is predicted to be another fierce battleground in the next poll.

Mr Jurin said the party is popular in the South, given its victory in earlier by-elections there. "The party could capture twice as many House seats it did in the previous election," he said.

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