Former Democrat leader Chuan Leekpai on Thursday stood firm that he would not join the party’s leadership race to return as party leader.
He said he is ready to support any new leader of the party.
The Democrat’s advisory chief, was speaking as the party holds heated discussions about a new party leader. Incumbent leader Abhisit Vejjajiva recently declared that the leadership of the party is open for competition among suitable party members.
That led to the names of senior party members being raising trial balloons for potential candidates, including former prime minister Chuan, 80.
But Chuan has shot down the suggestion he could return to the helm, saying he would not again compete to regain the party leadership.
Finding a new leader for the Democrats will not be easy, as a successful candidate would need the long experience and strong abilities fitting a party that can be either in government or the official opposition.
“I myself spent more than 20 years to prove myself among the party members,” Chuan said. “The race for the leader’s seat is a method to select a capable person, not reflecting the weak point of the party. This reflects the party’s strength in not belonging to any one individual.”
Many names have been raised to compete in the race, Chuan said. The widespread interest does not show a rift in the party, but instead reflected the different ideas being raised, he said.
Abhisit’s performance had caused no problems for the party, said Chuan, who was the Democrat leader from 1991 to 2003.