Democrats fail to pick new leader
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Democrats fail to pick new leader

Democrats sign up at Sunday's meeting in Bangkok. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Democrats sign up at Sunday's meeting in Bangkok. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

A meeting of the Democrat Party failed to elect a new leader and party executives because of a lack of quorum on Sunday.

The special meeting started at Miracle Grand Convention Hotel in late morning because Jurin Laksanawisit resigned as the party's leader on May 14 as results of the general election filtered through.

His resignation caused an automatic end to the Democrats' executive board under his tenure.

Key Democrats showed up for the planned vote on Sunday morning. They included former leader Chuan Leekpai, Banyat Bantadtan, Mr Jurin and Abhisit Vejjajiva – who refused to comment on a report that he would be nominated as a candidate for the leadership.

The party had its quorum for the meeting when it started at 10am as 299 members attended it. Its quorum needed at least 250 present party members.

Mr Jurin, who presided over the meeting, thanked party members for overcoming both internal and external challenges. He said he believed the Democrat Party would return to its glorious past. The party won 25 out of 500 House seats in the May 14 general election.

Party members then discussed regulations on voting weights between present and former Democrat MPs versus former leaders, ministers and political position holders. Acting Democrat deputy leader Ong-art Klampaibul proposed the party postpone the vote for 60 days.

At 2.30pm the party checked its quorum which turned out to be insufficient because there were only 221 attendees.

The meeting adjourned to wait for more attendees. At 3pm its quorum was checked again and there were only 201 participants. Mr Jurin then closed the meeting. He said he would convene the next meeting on Wednesday.

Party leadership hopeful Mallika Boonmeetrakul said many Democrats sat outside the meeting venue and caused the lack of a quorum.

Before the meeting, Mr Chuan – a well-respected former prime minister – said there was palpable concern about the future direction of the 78-year-old party. 

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