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Wed, May 17, 2006 : Last updated 21:25 pm (Thai local time)



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Home > Headlines > New parties sprouting already





New parties sprouting already

The People's Alliance for Democracy has decided to jump into the political fray by founding a new party called the "Mass Party". And its one aim is to crusade against Thaksinomics.

The party has an unconventional political agenda. It vows not to field any MP candidates in its first five years.

"Our objective is to campaign against Thaksinomics," a PAD leader, Somkiat Pongpaibun, said yesterday. "If we field MP candidates, we will be trapped in vicious circles of money politics."

Somkiat would be joined by former Palang Dharma Party leader Chaiwat Sinsuwong and the Campaign for Popular Democracy's Pipop Thongchai to continue the political activities established under the PAD banner, a source said.

Mass Party will be just one of the new political parties that are set to spring up following the apparent ability of MPs to change allegiance with 90 days to establish party membership and qualify for candidacy under the terms of the Constitution.

Mahachon Party leader Sanan Kachornprasart is lobbying former Democrat Party secretary-general Pradit Pattaraprasit, who recently quit the Democrats, to join Mahachon and bring his businessmen colleagues to finance the party.

The reason behind Pradit's departure from the Democrats became clear when he spoke about a return to politics.

"I need more time to decide, because politicians have to be able to answer the public [when they're asked] what they can deliver," he said. "I have to admit that Thaksinomics has greatly increased political awareness among the people. Any political parties that want to challenge the Thai Rak Thai Party must [be able to] answer this question first. If there is no answer for this, I do not want to take the risk. I am already happy."

Pradit said a deciding factor on whether he goes back to politics is his desire to contest a clean and fair ballot under a new Election Commission.

If he finally decides to join Mahachon, political analysts believe Pradit will opt for the position of party secretary-general rather than its leadership, as he believes he is more suited to the former role.

Although many factions in Thai Rak Thai Party have so far refused to switch camps, academic Likhit Theeravekin, a founding member of the party, has decided to defect, with a plan to establish a new party to push for political reform.

Likhit is not the first defector. Several other key founding members of Thai Rak Thai Party have also left, including Social Order crusader Purachai Piumsombun. Anek Laothammathat, the former Mahachon Party leader, has joined the Maharaj Party and is lobbying Purachai to head the party with Anek as secretary-general.

The party will include academics from Mahachon, plus political activists calling themselves "Crisis Watch" and led by Uaychai Watha. The New Aspiration Party, led by Chingchai Mongkoltham, is also planing to merge with Maharaj.

Outgoing Senators Kraisak Choonhavan and Karun Saingam will also join Maharaj Party, and are lobbying other senators to join, a source said.








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