Fight for true democracy is not over, promises Move Forward leader Chaithawat

He also said Thai politics is problematic because it is run by the elite, who believe they can use the military to oust governments.

The Nation

The Nation



Move Forward Party will continue trying to change and improve Thai society, the party’s new leader Chaithawat Thulathon declared. PHOTO: THE NATION

September 26, 2023

BANGKOK – He was speaking at the “Move Forward Continues” gathering on Sunday at the Thai-Japanese Stadium in Bangkok’s Din Daeng district.

He said Thai politics is problematic because it is run by the elite who believe they can use the military to oust governments. Political parties compete to win administration rights, but are never allowed to introduce changes to society, he added.

This is because the elite has made us all believe that we cannot introduce changes without their permission, he explained.

Chaithawat said Thai society needs change to cope with extreme volatility in the global economy. Besides, he said, the battle between the public and the elite is for much more than just changing a dictatorship into a democracy.

He said Move Forward has set up strategies to introduce changes in society, including adding more party members, boosting public participation, being a proactive opposition to counterbalance the government, and winning more constituencies.

He added the party also plans to participate in every local election to tackle the central government and to push for a democratic charter for the people.

“I know we are sad and depressed that though Move Forward won the [May 14] election, it cannot form a government,” he said. “But we should leave these tears and sadness behind to achieve our goal.”

Former Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat, meanwhile, called on supporters to take good care of Chaithawat, as he’s a real leader who will make dreams of democracy come true.

Even though many party members have been deprived of their political rights or moved to other parties, Move Forward is still strong at its core, he said.

“The authority belongs to the people,” he added.

Pita was elected as Chaithawat’s adviser on Saturday after he gave up the leader’s role on September 15. Once Move Forward’s sole PM candidate, Pita has been forced to give up his MP seat pending a ruling on his shareholding case.

At the gathering, Pita said he expects Move Forward to win by an even bigger landslide at the next general elections, garnering up to 300 seats compared to 151 in the May 14 election. He also unveiled the “proactive opposition strategies” required to win the election with 300 MP seats.

He said Move Forward will be a proactive opposition party under three strategies:

• Race: Will contend elections at all levels, from Provincial Administrative Organisation and municipalities to the Bangkok gubernatorial and national general elections

• Move: Members and supporters will work on political roles together

• Expand: Add at least 10,000 new members every month to boost membership from its current 80,000

By next year, Move Forward will be one of the largest political parties in Thai history, he promised.

“Move Forward will be the opposition party that collects victories [in elections] and has the experience to form the best government for Thai people,” he said, adding that the party will win under rules made by others.

He also said that as an opposition party, Move Forward will not just stand against the government but will also stand by the people.

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