Abhisit rules himself out of election
published : 22 Mar 2023 at 04:08
newspaper section: News
writer: Nattaya Chetchotiros
Former Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva says he will not stand in the next election in order to keep the party from having to answer questions about his political views.
The former prime minister told the Bangkok Post on Tuesday he had been approached by Democrat leader Jurin Laksanawisit to stand in the May 14 poll but he declined.
Mr Abhisit said he decided not to seek a return to parliament out of concern for the questions that are bound to be put to the party if he did.
The party would be dogged by queries as to whether his views, which led to him stepping down as Democrat leader following the 2019 election, remain intact. The Democrat Party suffered a humiliating defeat in the last polls, winning only 53 seats -- less than half the number it claimed in 2011.
Mr Abhisit resigned to keep his promise that he would quit if the party backed Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha as prime minister.
He said Mr Jurin knows full well his stance -- which is against the Democrats being part of a government with Gen Prayut, Deputy Prime Minister and Palang Pracharath Party leader Gen Prawit Wongsuwon and Pheu Thai in it -- made before the last election was non-negotiable.
"[Mr Jurin] realised he couldn't change my way of thinking.
"If I run for a seat, it will cause more problems than it solves. The question is bound to come up on the first day of the campaign and until the last," Mr Abhisit said.
He said he was afraid his answer might go against the party's stance.