October 30, 2023
BANGKOK – Paetongtarn was the only candidate for the post at the meeting, which was held to elect Pheu Thai’s eighth leader and new party executives.
The 37-year-old scion of the Shinawatra political dynasty entered politics only two years ago as Pheu Thai’s chief adviser for participation and innovation. She was one of the party’s three prime ministerial candidates at the general election in May.
The ex-premier’s youngest child has also been handed several high-level positions in the new government, including seats on the national health system development committee and deputy chair of the soft-power strategy panel.
Pheu Thai’s Deputy Prime Minister Phumtham Wechayachai earlier told reporters he backed Paetongtarn as next party chief because of her abilities, not her surname.
Paetongtarn’s appointment would pave the way for the younger generation to get involved in the party, he added.
Some analysts view the move as cementing Shinawatra control over Pheu Thai, which is a successor of the Thai Rak Thai party formerly led by her father.
Elected as Pheu Thai deputy leaders at Friday’s meeting were list MP Chusak Sirinil, Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat, adviser to the transport minister Kawin Juangroongruangkit, Roi Et MP Jiraporn Sindhuprai, Chaiyaphum MP Ochit Kiatkongchuchai, and secretary to the Finance Minister Paopoom Rojanasakul.
List MP Danuporn Punnakan was appointed spokesperson, while Sa Kaew MP Sorawong Thienthong was handed the post of secretary-general. Sorawong is the son of Sanoh Thienthong – an influential figure during Thaksin’s government dubbed “godfather of the eastern border”.