November 25, 2022

Varawut leading his father’s political party

Chartthaipattana to “stay inclusive”

The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Varawut Silpa-archa, was elected leader of the Chartthaipattana party. He was elected Monday at a party meeting at the Miracle Grand Convention Hotel in Bangkok. He pledged to improve the party’s current 12 MPs in the next general election. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa was elected to lead the 12-MP Chartthaipattana party, replacing his older sister Kanchana.

He also insisted that the party is not ruled by a political dynasty.

On Monday, Chartthaipattana called a meeting of its board to find a replacement for Ms Kanchana, who resigned as party leader on September 20.

During the meeting, Mr. Varawut was elected leader of the party without contest. The meeting also voted for 22 new executives, including Prapat Phothasuthon as the party’s general secretary.

In addition, the executives also decided to lift the cap on the number of executives serving on the board from the current 29 to 39.

Expanding the board would pave the way for the party’s growth in the future, Varawut said.

Chartthaipattana currently has 12 MPs representing the provinces of the Central Plain region.

At Monday’s meeting, Ms Kanchana presented a party flag to her younger brother in a symbolic handover ceremony.

The siblings are the children of former party leader Banharn Silpa-archa, who led what was then called the Chart Thai party to victory in the 1995 election to become the country’s 21st prime minister.

Banharn died on April 23, 2016, at the age of 83.

After Monday’s meeting, Mr Varawut said he would look after the welfare of party members as he would his own family. He said those members kept the party going.

Mr Varawut went on to deny claims by critics that the party appears to be the personal property of the Silpa-archa family.

“We have to get back to the party before our family takes the helm,” he said.

“The former leaders were Pol Gen Praman Adireksan and Gen Chatichai Choonhavan. No one can and will control the party,” he said.

Mr. Varawut said that Chartthaipattana under his leadership will ensure that members participate in the party’s decision-making processes.

The party aims to win between 25 and 30 MP seats in the next elections. Mr Varawut said he would ask the party to limit its growth to allow for efficient management of its affairs.

When asked if or how Chartthaipattana would be affected if the ruling Palanag Pracharath party nominates its leader, General Prawit Wongsuwon, as a candidate for prime minister in the next election, Mr Varawut said the issue could be discussed at the party’s executive meeting on Thursday.

He insisted it was too early to speculate whether the party would join a coalition government after the next election.