Mr. Sompong Amornvivat has quit as leader of the opposition Pheu Thai Party, effective today, to pave the way for a major shakeup of the party’s executive committee.
On Friday, Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, resigned as the party’s strategy chief, followed by the several other members of her committee, namely Pokin Polakul, Kittirat na Ranong and Pongthep Thepkanchana.
At a news conference, held at the party’s head office Saturday afternoon, Mr. Sompong said that the party had planned to restructure the executive and several other working committees,in order to improve efficiency and he is ready to quit to pave way.
He said the plan was stalled because Parliament had been in session since the last general meeting of the party in July and, if he had resigned during the parliamentary session, there might be a problem with his position as Leader of the Opposition.
The changes were, therefore, postponed until Parliament went into recess on Friday, said Mr. Sompong, adding that he hasscheduled a meeting with the acting executive committee, on Monday, to set the date for the general meeting and election of the new executive committee, tentatively set for the first two weeks of October.
Regarding the departure of Khunying Sudarat, Mr. Sompong said he didn’t know the true reason for her resignation, but believes that was not due to conflict within the party.
He said he regrets her departure and will try to persuade her to continue to help the party.
Meanwhile, it is reported that northeastern MPs in the Pheu Thai Party will try to push for Mr. Suthin Klangsaeng, the Opposition Chief Whip, to become the new party leader, claiming that it is about time for MPs from the region to play leading role in the party.
The same party sources said, though, that the northern faction, led by Mrs. Yaowapa Wongsawat, younger sister of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, is against the northeastern faction’s plan and would prefer Mr. Sompong to serve as acting leader until a new one is elected.