KANCHANA Silpa-archa, the daughter of late former prime minister and Chartthaipattana Party patriarch Banharn, has been nominated as party leader, it was revealed yesterday despite previous speculation that her younger brother would take the job.
Her official appointment will be announced on Friday during the party’s general assembly.
Chartthaipattana member and former deputy labour minister Jongchai Thiengtham announced in his birthday speech yesterday that Kanchana would be the party’s leader.
Celebrating his 75th birthday at home in the party’s stronghold |of Suphan Buri, Jongchai said he would stand as the main pillar of the party alongside Banharn’s heirs |and heiresses.
He added that veteran politician Somsak Prisana-nanthakul, whose stronghold is Angthong province, would also remain with the party.
“This is the structure of Chartthaipattana. Politicians should always have roots, and those who have left will finally come back because Chartthaipattana is a warm party,” he said, apparently referring to the current phenomenon of politicians defecting to pro-junta parties.
Despite this, Kanchana said she was confident that Jongchai would always remain with the party even though her father had passed away.
Her nomination as leader was at odds with the party’s previous stance of investing in younger people. Kanchana has been in politics for a long time, having worked with her late father.
She also served as deputy education minister from 1999 to 2001 in the Chuan Leekpai administration.
Her younger brother, Varavut, was previously seen as a potential party leader, but he said yesterday that the change in the party’s stance was not such a big issue. Everyone will still work for the party no matter what, he added.
“We must all work together. The most important thing is the party,” he said. “However, we have to wait and see what the party executives decide [on Friday].”