Thaksin plays down splits

Ex-premier weighs in on resignations from Pheu Thai

Ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra says he has no regrets over the resignation of key politicians from the main opposition Pheu Thai Party, a group now locked in dispute with the leader of the red-shirt movement.

“I can’t [have] anyone stick to the party forever,” the fugitive former premier tweeted on Saturday, noting there was nothing to regret when people quit the party to set out their own paths.

Thaksin founded the Pheu Thai Party in 2008. The party recently lost key members, including former chief strategist Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, a veteran politician. In 1998, Khunying Sudarat co-founded the Thai Rak Thai (TRT) Party with Thaksin and 21 others, including Somkid Jatusripitak.

Thaksin in his tweet said he was aware some former Pheu Thai members had recently criticised party. It is unclear who the exiled former politician was referring to. He said he is attached to Pheu Thai because it was the reincarnation of the now-defunct TRT

Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan quits the Pheu Thai Party with other key figures -- Pokin Polakul, Watana Muangsook and Pongsakorn Annanopporn, who are close to her. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan quits the Pheu Thai Party with other key figures — Pokin Polakul, Watana Muangsook and Pongsakorn Annanopporn, who are close to her. (Bangkok Post file photo)

“I have to thank those who are still with the party that helped lay the foundations,” the former premier said.

Khunying Sudarat quit the party with other key figures — Pokin Polakul, Watana Muangsook and Pongsakorn Annanopporn, who are close to her.

An internal rift reportedly began in October when a new Pheu Thai executive board began leaving Khunying Sudarat’s closest aides from working committees, so reducing her influence in the party.

Following her resignation, Khunying Sudarat said she plans to establish her own political party, although she would first consult with colleagues before finalising the idea.

The trouble with Pheu Thai may not end with the resignation of its former chief strategist.

Jatuporn Promphan, chairman of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), recently lambasted Pheu Thai over its selection of candidates ahead of the Dec 20 Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO) chairman election.

Mr Jatuporn, speaking during the UDD-sponsored talk show Peace Talk, accused Pheu Thai of abandoning Boonlert Buranupakorn, leader of the Chiang Mai Khunnatham group.

He said Mr Boonlert is now contesting the poll under the group’s ticket.

BANGKOK POST

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