Puea Pandin Party

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Canvassing car of the Puea Pandin Party in Chiang Mai 2007

Motherland Party (Thai: พรรคเพื่อแผ่นดิน, Pheua Phaendin Party) was a Thai political party active from 2007 to 2011.

It was founded on September 11, 2007, by more than 200 politicians including defectors from the Thai Rak Thai Party (TRT).

The Pheu Pandin Party presented itself as a compromise party, a neutral and moderate alternative to the two main rivals, Democrat and People's Power Party (PPP). It included both former allies and opponents of deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his outlawed Thai Rak Thai Party (TRT).[1] Its most notable members included Thaksin's former foreign minister Surakiart Sathirathai, Suranand Vejjajiva and Preecha Laohaphongchana.[2] Suwit Khunkitti and Watchara Punnachet have been elected party leader and party secretary general respectively. The party appointed Vatana Asavahame as the party chairman, and Police General Pracha Promnok as party chief adviser. General Panlop Pinmanee, adviser to the Internal Security Command Operation, accepted to become adviser to the party, overseeing security.[3]

In the 2007 election, the party secured 24 seats and became a junior partner in the government coalition led by Samak Sundaravej and his PPP. Its representation increased to 32 seats after the Constitutional Court dissolved the ruling PPP in 2008 and its members defected to other parties. It changed its allegiance and helped to elect Abhisit Vejjajiva of the Democrat Party prime minister. Many of Puea Pandin's members of parliament defected to other parties ahead of the election in 2011, hoping to increase their chances of being re-elected. The remaining rump of the party merged into the Chart Pattana Party.

Thaksin (right) with Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai (left) at Rumsfeld in Pentangon, 2005

2007 election[edit]

Motherland Party leader Suwit Khunkitti vowed to win more than 60 seats in Parliament and promised to implement nine policies to improve the state of the Thai economy.[4]

On October 28, 2007, the party had formed its finance and tourism team. The finance team consists in the form of the party's Academic Council, chaired by former Deputy Prime Minister, Surakiart Sathirathai. Members included former Governor of the Bank of Thailand Vijit Supinich, former Secretary to the Ministry of Finance Supachai Pisitvanit, former Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Bunpod Hongthong and Finance specialists Vichien Techapaiboon and Nithit Pukkanasud. Although Surakiart Sathirathai was one of 111 TRT executives banned from politics for five years, he said that the party's Academic Council only provides policy guidelines and is not part of the political party. The tourism team was led by former Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Juthamas Siriwan and former senators Suradej Yasawat and Jirayu Vasurut. All three were also deputy party leaders. Their main policy was to make Thailand a hub for tourism with expected earnings of 1.33 trillion baht in 2011.

Three days before the December 23, 2007 general election, deputy party leader Juthamas Siriwan resigned from the party amidst a bribery scandal stemming from her tenure as governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and president of the Bangkok International Film Festival.[5]

In the election, the party won 24 seats in parliament, seven representatives of the party lists and 17 representatives of individual constituencies. Most of them were elected in districts in the Northeastern Region (Isan), especially in the provinces of Nakhon Ratchasima and Surin.

At the end of the 2007-2011 term, 12 of the 32 Puea Pandin MPs had joined the Bhumjaithai Party, three had defected to Pheu Thai, two to the Democrats, two to Chartthaipattana, and one each to Matubhum and Tankun Pandin. The remaining nine representatives joined forces with their National Development Party colleagues and formed the new Chart Pattana Puea Pandin Party.

Secretary General[edit]

Party Spokesperson[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McCargo, Duncan (2008), Thailand: State of Anxiety, Southeast Asian Affairs 2008 (Singapore: ISEAS Publications): 341–342 
  2. ^ People's Daily Online - Veteran Thai politicians form new party, claiming neutral stance
  3. ^ The Nation, [1]
  4. ^ The Nation, [2]
  5. ^ Hollywood bribery scandal takes spotlight in Thailand, with prime minister vowing justice, Associated Press via International Herald Tribune; retrieved 2007-12-25