Former Foreign Minister Resigns from Dems Over Prayuth

Kasit Piromya at the Democrat Party headquarters Tuesday.
Kasit Piromya at the Democrat Party headquarters Tuesday.

BANGKOK ⁠— Another prominent member of the Democrats, former foreign minister Kasit Piromya, has resigned from the party over its support for junta leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha’s second term in office.

Kasit tended the resignation Tuesday at the party’s headquarters in Bangkok, providing a 10-page letter explaining that his ideology is no longer compatible with that of the Democrat Party.

Kasit’s stance is that the party should join neither the pro-junta nor the Pheu Thai-led camp.

“I admit that I decided to resign because the party joined the Phalang Pracharath government. But though I’ve resigned, I insist I will not disappear and we can still work together because we are friends. I will continue to work on pushing for liberal democratic ideals in order to realize perfect democracy. I reject populism, dictatorship and corruption,” said Kasit.

Kasit’s resignation follows a string of exits from the Democrat Party that have come after the party, under the new leadership of Jurin Laksanawisit, resolved to join the pro-junta governing coalition and vote Prayuth in for another term as prime minister.

Those who quit the party earlier last week include former Election Commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn and Parit Wacharasindhu, a former member of the party’s “New Dems” youth wing.

At the party’s headquarters, Kasit assured journalists that he will continue to work with scholars and NGOs for a “third force” in Thai politics that adheres to good governance.

Asked whether he has any ambitions of forming a new political party, Kasit, who once defended the Yellowshirts’ blockade of Suvarnabhumi International Airport in 2008, said it’s a possibility though wouldn’t be easy. He added he is in touch with some members of the New Dems.