Published on November 5, 2007
Several leaders of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) will contest the upcoming general election under the banner of the Democrat Party.
Kraisak Chonhavan, Chai-wat Sinsuwong, Pichet Pattanachot, Somkiate Pongpai-bun and Colonel Winai Sompong announced their decision at a press conference yesterday at the residence of the late former prime minister Chatichai Choon-havan.
Somkiate said he decided to run as a Democrat party-list candidate. "I want to devote my life to helping people fight poverty through education,'' he said.
Kraisak, who had already announced his intention to run as a Democrat, said yesterday he was interested in working on human rights, environment and foreign affairs.
Chaiwat said he would work on the problems of debt and mom-and-pop shops.
Winai expressed interest in the communications and transport sectors.
Somkiate said he wanted to fight against "dirty capitalism" that robbed the country of billions of baht through political corruption.
He said that he would continue Chatichai's political legacy of setting up the Social Security Fund for nine million workers by creating pensions for 25 million people who are not covered by the fund. He plans to implement land reform by changing all title deeds into two types, community and personal, and transfer farmers' debts into state rehabilitation projects, such as making farmers grow trees or make products to repay debts. He will also embark on education reform of 157 universities and protect mom-and-pop shops from giant retailers.
Kraisak said his group chose to be with the Demo-crats because the party wrote its policies by listening to the voice of people and also gave them the chance to freely propose their own policies for the party's discussion.