Abhisit return rumours swirl

Abhisit return rumours swirl

Former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is suited to the job of salvaging a Democrat Party crushed in Sunday’s general election, according to deputy party leader Sathit Pitutecha.

Mr Sathit said yesterday that Mr Abhisit has what it takes to return and reverse the party’s fortunes after it suffered one of its most crushing election losses, prompting Jurin Laksanawisit to step down as leader and accept responsibility for the defeat on Sunday evening.

The Democrats grabbed just 22 MP seats from the constituencies and three more from the list system, according to an Election Commission (EC) update on the vote count yesterday afternoon.

Mr Jurin, who vowed to resign if the party won less than 25 seats, had already announced he was quitting before the party hit that target late into Sunday evening.

Yesterday, Mr Sathit said a plan to welcome Mr Abhisit back to replace Mr Jurin is already being openly discussed among party members.

He also called on politicians who defected before the polls to return and help restore the party to its former glory.

The Democrats, Mr Sathit added, have arrived at a point where the party must start anew to gain wider support from the people, as Sunday’s unofficial election results were highly indicative of the direction that voters want to see the country moving towards.

Democrat members must sit down and figure out a way to recover, said Mr Sathit, who is also deputy public health minister.

The party must also buckle down and learn from its poll defeat, he said.

Mr Sathit said the party’s plan to move forward must be reworked around the need to tap into swing voters and those who do not regularly follow the news. That will be worked into the party’s strategy from now on, he said.

However, Mr Sathit noted it has been particularly challenging to reach out to groups who prefer to receive only one-sided information.

He said that the party must try to get the public to pay attention to what it offers amid a sea of information out there.

“After losing the war, we shall retreat, nurse our wounded soldiers back to health and retrieve the weapons. We will gradually find our feet again,” he said.

Mr Sathit insisted new members that span generations are needed to drive the party machine back into office.

The job should not be given wholly to the younger members, although those with outstanding ability should play prominent roles in charting the new course.