Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-on has announced his forthcoming resignation as the Secretary-General of the Democrat Party, signaling a significant shift in party leadership. Chalermchai’s decision comes in the wake of Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit’s resignation as party leader, prompted by the disappointing outcome of the May 14 election, which saw the party secure fewer House seats than initially anticipated.
Chalermchai has stated that the selection of a new party leader, particularly a younger individual, will be left to a party committee during the upcoming general assembly. This decision is seen as an effort to revitalize the party and attract a broader base of supporters. Additionally, he addressed the possibility of the Democrat Party forming a political alliance with the Pheu Thai party, contingent on the Move Forward Party’s inability to gather sufficient support from parliament members to establish a new coalition government. However, Chalermchai emphasized that any such collaboration would necessitate formal party resolution support.
Upon stepping down as secretary-general, Chalermchai expressed his intention to assume the role of a general member within the party. Furthermore, he firmly refuted rumors circulating about secret discussions between the Democrats and Pheu Thai, dismissing claims of an alleged agreement to join forces in a bid to form a new government.
Deputy Interior Minister Naris Khamnurak, a former Democrat MP for Phatthalung, echoed Chalermchai’s denial of a clandestine deal. Naris emphasized the Democrat Party’s adherence to formal party resolutions in making significant decisions. He asserted that no such proposal had been put forth or discussed and emphasized the party’s need to await certification from the Election Commission for its 25 elected MPs, who constitute 70% of the party’s new board members.
Looking ahead, Naris acknowledged the need for the party to analyze the factors contributing to its underwhelming performance in securing House seats. This analysis will inform decisions regarding the promotion of younger members to executive or leadership positions within the party, highlighting a potential shift towards a more youthful and dynamic leadership team.