New party leader Kanchana Silpa-archa holds the Chartthaipattana flag after her election in Bangkok on Friday. (Photo by Kijja Apichonrojarek)
Members of the medium-sized Chartthaipattana Party on Friday elected Kanchana Silpa-archa, daughter of former prime minister Banharn, to lead them into the promised polls next year.
She was nominated for the job by former Roi Et MP Anurak Jureemat.
Former Ang Thong MP Paradon Prisananantakul nominated former Chartthaipattana leader Theera Wongsamut. However, Mr Theera withdrew, saying Ms Kanchana was the most suitable under the present circumstances.
The meeting then formally elected 58-year-old Ms Kanchana as party leader.
Prapat Phothasothon was elected secretary-general.
Five deputy party leaders were elected: Anurak Jureemat, Anucha Sasomsap, Wichit Pornpritpan, Sampan Paenpat and Yutthapol Angkinan.
Ms Kanchana said her election showed that the party wanted old and new politicians to work together as a team. She was well-positioned, being between the two generations, to lead them.
She also said new members from other political groups would expand the party’s political foothold.
Ms Kanchana declined to say if Chartthaipattana would field candidates in all constituencies, or who it would support for the next prime minister. She would discuss these matters with members of the party executive.
She said that the party would follow her late father’s policy, to overlook conflict.
One indication of the party’s ambitions was the announcement during the meeting by Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin, a former army chief who led the Sept 19, 2006 coup, thathe had brought 15 members of his Matubhum Party to join Chartthaipattana. He was in the process of deregistering his party, he said.
Most of his members were active in southern border provinces and intended to win party list seats, Gen Sonthi said.
Former members of other parties who joined Chartthaipattana and showed up at Friday’s meeting included former Khon Kaen MP Prajak Klaeoklahan (formerly Bhumijaithai Party), former Nakhon Pathom MP Anucha Sasomsap (Pheu Thai) and former Samut Sakhon MP Anusorn Kraiwatnusorn of the dissolved Thai Rak Thai Party).
The meeting was at Miracle Grand Hotel in Bangkok.