Charupong quits as Pheu Thai leader

national June 21, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Charupong Ruangsuwan has resigned as leader of the Pheu Thai Party, with effect from May 22 - the day the Pheu Thai-led government was ousted in a military coup.

The party received Charupong’s resignation letter last Monday and informed the Political Party Registrar of his decision to step down the following day, Pheu Thai’s caretaker deputy secretary-general Chavalit Vichayasuthi said.

Charupong has been on the run, refusing to respond to a summons issued by the junta. 
Chavalit said that with the party leader’s resignation, other executives of the party now stood to lose their position automatically. 
He went on to say that Pheu Thai had not been able to hold a general meeting to elect a new executive board as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) had issued an order on June 7 banning all activities by political parties.
Deputy party leaders Viroj Pao-in and Plodprasop Suraswadi will now take over as acting co-leaders in accordance with an earlier resolution made by the board in the event a party leader quits, Chavalit said.
He went on to say that leading Pheu Thai figures, namely Viroj, secretary-general Phumtham Vechayachai, and legal expert Chusak Sirinil, met with the NCPO working group at Defence Ministry yesterday to discuss national reforms. 
Chavalit said the discussion went “very well”, adding that the party was even given the chance to offer some advice. He said Pheu Thai was ready to cooperate on efforts for national reconciliation and unity. 
At the meeting, Pheu Thai members suggested that a democratic Constitution be reinstated, a reform council comprising experts from different fields be set up and that the public be allowed to help solve the country’s problem, including corruption, Chavalit said.