Former New Economics party leader cuts ties with party leadership

Former New Economics party leader Mingkwan Saengsuwan has announced his split from the party's leadership to become an opposition MP.

He said he recently received a phone call, from the acting leader of the New Economics party, asking him whether he was aware of the party's decision to leave the opposition alliance, but when he asked the reason of the separation, his caller simply hung up and did not call again.

Mingkwan admitted that he was in a dilemma because, during last year's election campaign, he had announced that his party would not support members of the former junta and that is why his party chose to join the opposition alliance, keeping an election promise.

What is happening now is that the party has not kept its promise to me, he said as he vowed to cut ties with the party leadership and perform his duty in parliament as a lone wolf opposition MP, adding that he has contacted opposition leader Mr. Sompong Amornvivat, also leader of Pheu Thai party, expressing his readiness to join the censure debate.

Mr. Mingkwan made clear that he will not quit the New Economics party, claiming that about half a million people voted for the party in last year's general election.

If I quit the party, what will the voters think? I can quit anytime but, today, I still have a duty to perform for the benefit of the people, he said, adding that there is another method to force his resignation because the party can fire him if he rebels against the party's resolutions.

If the party does not fire me, I will stay on like this until the end of the parliamentary term, said Mingkwan.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)