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'Suthep’s new party' to seek registration today

politics May 25, 2018 01:00

By THE NATION

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A LAWYER for former politician Suthep Thaugsuban will today register a party with the Election Commission (EC) under the name Ruam Palang Prachachat Thai, an EC official told media yesterday.



While reformer Anek Laothamatas yesterday rejected reports that he would lead the PDRC-dominated party. Instead, said Anek, a new reform-oriented party was in the making and he was a part of it. His party would have both former supporters of the anti-Thaksin People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and others, said Anek, who is chairman of the political reform committee of the junta government and a member of the committee for preparation for reconciliation.

The party, whose official name remained unknown, was beyond colour-coded politics, the political scientist said. He welcomed anyone sharing the same reform ambition and emphasised that he rejected opponents of the military-sponsored Constitution, democracy and reform.

Observers are paying attention to newly emerging parties as potential vehicles to back the return of junta leader General Prayut Chan-o-cha as PM after the next election. But Anek remained vague about the matter, saying only that it was not the main agenda behind getting the party started.

The statement came in response to news reports circulated yesterday that politician-turned-protest-leader Suthep would form a party named Ruam Palang Prachachat Thai, which directly translated into Thai means “United Power of the Thai People”, and that Anek had been approached to be the frontman.

“Suthep did not approach me to be the leader. And if he does, I will not agree to it,” the political science professor responded in a Facebook post. “This is because I am tired of the old way of founding a party or working in politics that are like a soap opera.” However, Anek for the first time admitted that in the past months several hundred people had been gathering quietly and studiously into a group. He also had been relatively active in it, he said.

The members had been determinedly working and brainstorming to come up with a new-style party, he said. The kind, he said, that is idolised in the new Constitution and matches the political reform planned by the committee he had led.

“The party will be the institution of virtue, the pillar of the nation, and the party that upholds Dhamma-cracy,” Anek said, using the label denoting a combination of traditional values and democracy.

“It will be a party that gives members the roles to make decisions, not monopolised by an individual or a group of individuals perpetually.”

Plus, it aims to go beyond just winning elections to also reform politics and the country, he said.

The party would seek registration with the Election Commission (EC) soon, Anek said.