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Democrats deny party executive poll rift

Posted by arnon_k On July - 17 - 2011

Outgoing Prime Minister and acting Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday dismissed rumours of an internal rift in the party relating to the election of the new executive board but conceded that there is fierce competition for key positions.

“The Democrats know that the race for the executive posts is normal practice and this should not be called a conflict,” Mr Abhisit said, adding that party executives would be elected through a democratic process.

His comment came as the election for the party’s new secretary-general to replace Suthep Thaugsuban heats up.

Democrat advisory council member Pichet Phanvichartkul on Friday said the party’s executive board should be a combination of senior and younger politicians in the party.

He also said the board should be acceptable for voters in the South, which is a party stronghold.

He added that most Democrat members viewed that party-list MP elect Kalaya Sophonpanich best suited the secretary-general post. She has also gained recognition from southern voters.

“She should be a good fit for the post because the new prime minister will be a woman as well,” said Mr Pichet.

Khunying Kalaya said yesterday Mr Pichet’s suggestion was merely his own opinion.

Khunying Kalaya said the new Democrat leader is supposed to nominate the new secretary-general first.

Party members could then review whether the nominee is qualified for the post.

“Personally, I’m ready to work for the party even though I do not hold any position,” she said.

Theptai Senpong, former deputy secretary-general of the Democrat Party, yesterday said the secretary-general does not need to be a politician from the South.

Mr Theptai wrote on his Twitter page that southern voters paid more attention to the management system of the party than individual politicians.

It had been reported earlier that the Democrat Party would hold the election of the new executive board on Aug 6, but Mr Abhisit yesterday said the date had not yet been set.

Mr Abhisit said there is no need for the party to come up with the executive board before the House session begins early next month as the outgoing board members will still be in charge until the new board is elected.

“Our top priority is to have all MPs endorsed by the Election Commission,” he said.

He was confident that the party’s MPs would be able to perform well during the debate on the new government’s policies, which is expected to take place at the end of next month.

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