New Politics Party
|New Politics Party
Karn Muang Mai
|Founded||June 2, 2009|
|Ideology||Royalism, Nationalism, Right-wing populism, Corporatism|
|Colors||Yellow and Green|
|Politics of Thailand
The New Politics Party or NPP (Thai: พรรคการเมืองใหม่ ก.ม.ม. or Karn Muang Mai, KMM) is a political party in Thailand which was founded on June 2, 2009. It is the political party of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), with which it shares the same principles and ideas. It claims that other political parties in Thailand only protect their own vested interests, such as the bureaucrats and nobles, and are unable to tackle the country's problems. The party is expected to solicit more than 5,000 members and set up branches in all the four regions of Thailand, within the one-year deadline. It also plans to an early completion of the registration process in order to contest the next general election.
Aims for Political Reform
PAD and NPP want to replace the National Assembly of Thailand by a body with only 30 per cent directly elected Members of Parliament, the rest installed by employers' and labour unions or similar pressure groups, in order to achieve their ideal of “clean politics”. Their adherents typically distrust established politicians and representatives and want to replace them. The party claims to defend the supposedly endangered monarchy.
In May 2009, The People's Alliance for Democracy made an announcement that they were creating a political party. The party was formally registered on June 2, 2009. The interim leader of the party was Somsak Kosaisuuk. On October 7, 2009, Sondhi Limthongkul was elected as the leader of the party.
Sondhi Limthongkul, one of the five PAD core leaders and media mogul, is the party's inaugural leader and PAD coordinator. Suriyasai Katasila is the secretary-general. This was decided upon by the 21 co-founders during a meeting that lasted two hours.
In 2011 it came to a break between Sondhi and the majority of PAD on the one and the NPP leadership around Somsak on the other side. In late March Sondhi demanded the party to boycot the upcoming parliamentary elections according to PAD's extra-parliamentary opposition strategy and its abstention campaign. This was declined by Somsak and his NPP functionaries who are keen on fielding candidates and seeking parliamentary representation. The hardline PAD position however is, that all party politicians - even the ones of NPP - should retreat for a certain period and the King is to appoint a non-partisan expert government. This idea again, was rejected by Somsak and his public servants' union SELRC as undemocratic and “close to a coup d'etat”. This lead consequently to the retirement of Somsak from the PAD leadership in late April and Sondhis leave from the NPP in return. Correctly concluded, the NPP cannot be considered as PAD's political wing any longer.
Critics inside and outside Thailand, including the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), label the PAD and its political party as neo-fascist, stating "Some commentators and opponents of the alliance have described its agenda as fascist. This is not an exaggeration. Experience shows that the types of systemic changes and regimes that follow such movements, although they may not describe themselves as fascist, have fascist qualities. Indeed, successive dictatorships in Thailand's modern history appreciated, expressed and used many fascist symbols and policies, and the residue of these can be found in the language and behaviour of the alliance leaders today."
- Richard Lloyd Parry. “People's Alliance for Democracy's narrow nationalism in Thailand”, “The Times” online, September 5, 2008, retrieved on January 5, 2011.
- Mithran Somasundrum. “Shuffling towards fascism”, Guardian September 3, 2008, retrieved on January 5, 2011
- The Nation, Sondhi elected as new leader, October 7, 2009
- Bangkok Post, Somsak Vetoes PAD Demand, April 29, 2011
- Asian Human Rights Committee, THAILAND: Watershed moment for democracy and rule of law, 26 November 2008
- PAD names new political party BangkokPost.com June 2nd, 2009
- PAD names new party : New Politics TheNation.com