A new party formed by Muslim politicians of the Wadah group has been launched with the aim to build a “multicultural society” for the nation.
Its founders said they also hope to win seats in the next election, tentatively expected in February.
About 500 co-founders on Saturday launched the “Prachachat” party at the Pattani campus of Prince of Songkla University.
They were scheduled to vote for their first party leader and other executives in the afternoon.
Wan Muhammad Noor Matha, the key leader of the Wadah is tipped to become the new leader. He is a former House of Representatives speaker and a former transport minister.
Former Football Association of Thailand chief Worawi Makudi is poised to become deputy leader and Pol General Tawee Sodsong, ex-secretary-general of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre, is likely to become party secretary-general.
Areepen Uttarasin, a party founder, said the party was joined and formed by a diverse group of people with different backgrounds in terms of their native lands, cultures, careers and experiences, but who share a strong ideological commitment to promote democratic politics.
“We aim to build ‘Prachachat’ or ‘nation of the people’,” said Areepen. “The ‘nation’ refers to a society of ‘multi-cultures’ where people with different aspects can live together peacefully and equally.”
Wan Muhammad Noor said his party would not be limited to a “region-based” grouping, but rather present a genuine alternative to voters. He is confident his party would win seats in the next general election.
Wadah, whose political support base is in the three southernmost border provinces of Thailand, was a faction within the New Aspiration Party [NAP] and cofounded by Pattani veteran politician Den Tomeena along with Wan Muhammad Noor.
The group later became part of the Pheu Thai Party after NAP was merged into Thaksin Shinawatra’s Thai Rak Thai Party, which was Pheu Thai’s predecessor. They defected from Pheu Thai last April.
Some of the group’s members also joined Matubhum Party, which was formed by former coup leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin.