Abhisit Vejjajiva was on Sunday elected as leader of the Democrat Party, reflecting the results of last week’s sounding out of party members.
A general assembly of the country’s oldest political party, held at the Miracle Grand Convention Hotel, voted to endorse Abhisit as its new leader. His two competitors in the race – Warong Dechgitvigrom and Alongkorn Ponlaboot – withdrew after being nominated at on Sunday’s party meeting.
In the sounding-out of Democrat members as to who should become the next party leader, Abhisit polled the most votes with 67,505, followed by Warong (57,689) and Alongkorn (2,285).
Warong and Alongkorn told on Sunday’s assembly that they had withdrawn their nominations in keeping with an agreement by all the three contestants to do so if they lost in the sounding-out.
“The winner got a vote of consensus from the party members,” Warong said, withdrawing from the assembly’s voting.
He thanked all those who had backed him and apologised to party seniors and members for the serious race for the Democrat leadership, which had led to a perception that the party was divided.
Warong congratulated Abhisit on becoming the party leader, and maintained that he would still be able to work with him despite their fierce recent fight.
“I believe the new leader will be able to lead the party to an election victory and to achieve changes in the future,” Warong said.
In addition to the party leader, on Sunday’s assembly also voted to elect other members of its executive board. The meeting voted to retain incumbent Democrat secretary-general Chuti Krairiksh in the same position. Thirteen deputy leaders were also elected, for five regions and eight mission areas. Most of them are incumbents.