Thai opposition party leader resigns

17:16, September 09, 2010      

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Opposition Puea Thai Party leader Yongyuth Wichaidit on Thursday resigned from his post to allow party restructuring in preparation for the next general election.

"Today I tender my resignation in order to ensure my party's readiness for the next poll," he said after a meeting of executive committee members of the party, the Nation daily reported.

He said since a general election was expected to come in about a year from now, it was necessary for the party to be restructured to be more ready for it. It was now time for him to allow a new person with more capability to take leadership of the party.

Yongyuth's resignation came amid speculation that the ousted ex- premier Thaksin Shinawatra had placed pressure on him to step down.

Local media said Pol Gen Kowit Wattana, former national police chief and interior minister, had close connection with Thaksin and was tipped off to be the new leader of the party but Yongyuth denied the rumour.

Meanwhile Deputy House Speaker Apiwan Wiriyachai said Pol Gen Kowit was a suitable candidate for the post because he was acceptable to all sides.

Yongyuth's resignation took effect immediately. Following the resignation of their leader, all executive committee members of Puea Thai Party were terminated.

The opposition party will hold a general assembly on September 14 to elect new leader and executive committee members.

Thaksin Shinawatra was toppled in the 2006 bloodless coup. Even though he is now living in exile abroad, he has been the de facto leader of Puea Thai Party, the successor of Thai Rak Thai and People Power Party, which were dissolved in 2007 and 2008 consecutively due to violation of electoral laws.

Source: Xinhua


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