File photo: Billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit
File photo: Billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit

Thanathorn hints at establishing new party later this month

politics March 04, 2018 01:00

By THE SUNDAY NATION

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PRO-DEMOCRACY billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, who has vowed to seriously consider establishing a new political party, said yesterday that the situation would be clearer in the second half of this month.



Thanathorn gave an interview to reporters yesterday after he did not join the 42 groups of people who registered their intentions to establish political parties on Friday, the first day of pre-registration organised by the Election Commission.

Many observers expected that Thanathorn or his representatives would show up for pre-registration since he had previously told the media that he planned to enter politics.

Responding to a question as to whether he would establish a political party, Thanathorn said yesterday that the issue would be clearer in the second half of March.

“For the time being it is in the stage of planning, as the situation leading to creating a political party has developed so fast,” said Thanathorn. He went on to say that it was time for Thais to seize the future and not allow the country to be stuck in conflicts. 

He said Thailand had been in political conflict for 12 years since the coup in 2006. The country had the potential to leap forward but it had been constrained by prolonged conflict, he stressed. 

“In order to open a door to the future and find new things, we should have a new alternative political party driven by the power of new generations,” said Thanathorn. 

“It is a very hard job to create a political party. We would not create it just for a temporary purpose; we would not do it if we could not change the country,” he said. 

He said that while the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) had banned political parties from proposing their political agenda for the time being, he believed that the power of new generations could bring change to the country if they did not bow down to the current unfavourable situation. 

Asked whether law professor Piyabutr Saengkanokkul would join him in creating a new party, Tharathorn simply said that he had known Piyabutr for many years, then added that everything would be clearer in the second half of the month. 

He also commented on the 42 groups that had pre-registered their political parties, saying that if Piyabutr and he could see the potential in any party that they could rely on, they would simply stay at home.

Asked about risks to himself should he jump into politics, Thanathorn said that it was worth taking a risk in order to have a better future – although he may lose another dream. In case of political chaos, it would also pose a risk to him and his family financially and physically. Or, should he propose a bold solution for the country, it could have an impact on his freedom, he noted. 

Thanathorn did not want to comment when asked about his popularity among netizens. He only said that if he established a political party it would not be as a nominee for anyone, but it would represent the new generations whose rights have been violated.

He acknowledged that he had faced some pressure concerning his well-known family name, saying that some people had attacked him in the past by attacking his family name. 

People should judge him what he does, not by his surname, Thanathorn added.