The Democrat Party will nominate its leader Jurin Laksanawisit as the party's prime ministerial candidate at the coming general election, spokesman Ramet Rattanachaweng said on Wednesday.
Mr Ramet said the party's executive board made the decision at its Tuesday meeting. The decision was confirmed by party secretary-general Chalermchai Sri-on.
He said Mr Jurin, who was elected party leader after the 2019 general election, has the party's trust and confidence to lead its candidates into the elections. Mr Jurin is currently the commerce minister.
The party, Mr Ramet said, would field candidates in all 400 constituencies.
Meanwhile, speculation is rife that Culture Minister Itthiphol Kunplome is unlikely to follow his brother Sonthaya Kunplome into the opposition Pheu Thai Party.
A source at the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party said Mr Itthiphol had agreed to help Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is a UTN member and its chief strategist.
According to the source, Mr Itthiphol quit the ruling Palang Pracharath Party on Jan 16 but it remains to be seen whether he will apply to join UTN.
If he decides to formally join the UTN, he is likely to run for election on the party list, the source said.
UTN member Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Wednesday the selection of constituency candidates is 90% complete and the party was expected to unveil its policy platform by next Monday.
He predicted up to 40,000 people would turn up at the party's rally in Nakhon Ratchasima on Feb 25, when Gen Prayut would deliver a speech.
In other news, the Pheu Thai Party will tour five northeastern provinces this weekend to drum up support ahead of the polls, said Nattawut Saikuar, director of the Pheu Thai Family project.
He said the party would visit Ubon Ratchathani, Amnat Charoen, Roi Et, Kalasin and Khon Kaen on Feb 17-19. The pre-election campaign will be led by leader Cholnan Srikaew, deputy leader Sutin Klungsaeng, and Paetongtarn 'Ung-Ing' Shinawatra, the head of Pheu Thai Family group and daughter of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Mr Nattawut said the party would announce a new set of policies to secure a "landslide" win when the House dissolution is called.