Social Action Party

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Social Action Party
Chairman Thongphun Diphrai
Founder M.R. Kukrit Pramoj
Founded 1974
Ideology Liberal conservatism, Progressivism,[1] Economic liberalism,[2] Constitutional monarchism
Political position Centre-left (1970s)[3]
Centre-right (1980s)[4]
Website
Social Action Party
Politics of Thailand
Political parties
Elections

The Social Action Party (Thai: พรรคกิจสังคม, RTGS: Phak Kit Sangkhom) is a political party in Thailand.

History[edit]

The Social Action Party was formed by the more liberal members of the Democrat Party in 1974 under the leadership of Kukrit Pramoj.[2] After Kukrit resigned the office of the party leader in December 1985, the former minister of foreign affairs and deputy party leader, Siddhi Savetsila, led the party.

Internal conflict during the 1986 parliamentary election resulted in a significant loss for the party. Controversy arose as rumor spread that General Arthit Kamlang-ek was secretly backing the party. By May 1986, with financial support from big businesses, a faction of the party split off with Boontheng Thongsawasdi to form the United Democracy Party, which proved to be unsuccessful.[2]

Corruption scandals continued to devastate the party. In the fall of 1990, when Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan threatened to expel the party from his government coalition, founder Kukrit was asked to return briefly to replace Siddhi Savetsila. Partly because Chatichai had previously served Kukrit as foreign minister, Chatichai ultimately decided not to expel the party.[5]

In December 1990, along with the Democratic Party, the Social Action Party withdrew entirely from Chatichai's government coalition, though it later rejoined Suchinda Kraprayoon's government in April 1992. It left the pro-military coaliliton in June 1992.[6]

After splitting in to two factions as a result of a power struggle in 1999, the party once again withdrew from the government led by Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai, with 17 Parliament members withdrawing from the ruling coalition.[7] In 2000, many of the members, including former leader Suwit Khunkitti, left Social Action for the Thai Rak Thai party.[8]

2001–present[edit]

By the year 2001, the Social Action Party had lost much of the political support it had back in the 1970s. The 2001 election resulted in the party winning only one seat in parliament. In 2003, the party was disbanded.[9] The party has been revived in 2008 as Suwit returned. He was a member of the Cabinet of Thailand under Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's coalition government. In the last Thai general election, 2011, the Social Action Party won 0.3% of party-list votes and no seats.

Ideology[edit]

The Social Action Party advocates pro-free-enterprise fiscal policies.[2]

Chairmen[edit]

  • Mom Rajawongse Kukrit Pramoj (1974–1985)
  • Air Chief Marshal Siddhi Savetsila (1985–1990)
  • M.R. Kukrit Pramoj (again, shortly in 1990)
  • Montri Pongpanich (1990–1998)[10]
  • Boonphan Kaewattana (1998–1999)
  • Suwit Khunkitti (1999–2000)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Leifer, Michael (1995), "Kukrit Pramoj", Dictionary of the Modern Politics of South-East Asia (Taylor & Francis): 94 
  2. ^ a b c d "Thai Political Parties". United States Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress. 
  3. ^ Sangchai, Somporn (1979), "Some Observations on the Elections and Coalition Formation in Thailand, 1976", Modern Thai Politics (Transaction Publishers): 378 
  4. ^ Derbyshire, J. Denis; Derbyshire, Ian (1989), Political systems of the world, Chambers, p. 122 
  5. ^ Erlanger, Steven (September 30, 1990). "For Thai Politician, a Break From Retirement". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  6. ^ Levine, Marvin (1997). Worker Rights and Labor Standards in Asia's Four New Tigers. New York, NY: Plenum Press. p. 224. ISBN 0-306-45477-7. 
  7. ^ "THAILAND: Electoral Timing". Oxford Analytica. 
  8. ^ Wingfield, Tom (2002), "Democratization and economic crisis in Thailand", Political Business in East Asia (Routledge): 295 
  9. ^ "Response to Information Request: Thailand". Canada Country of Origin Research. 
  10. ^ "Passage". CNN.