The People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) has informed the Election Commission (EC) of its intention to register as a political party, EC secretary-general Suthiphon Thaveechaiygarn said on Thursday.
The request was filed on April 24, he said.
Mr Suthiphon said the commission was verifying the party's statement of policies and its rules to ensure they abide by the law. This process would be completed within 30 days after the request is filed.
Election Commissioner Praphan Naikowit said the checks will include whether the name People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) would cause confusion or mislead the general public.---
Democrat chief adviser Chuan Leekpai refused to comment when asked if he thought the formation of the PAD party would bleed off support for the Democrats as supporters of his party tend to be the same group as the PAD supporters.
I think this is a good idea, because the PAD can finally enter the ring and prove their democratic legitimacy.
The next election will be interesting, because we won't know until then if they will siphon off votes from the Democrats. What will the Democrats do to deal with the PAD factor when they strategise for the next election? Will they consider the PAD a serious competitor or wait until the dust settles to negotiate power-sharing arrangements? The Democrats have never been a majority party in their history, so this doesn't bode well for them if the PAD is successful or has the people power it claims it has. If the history of Palang Dham is anything to go by, the Democrats will have cause to worry in Bangkok, though you have to wonder what types of charismatic figures they have who can lead regionally and/or nationally. I doubt Sondhi Lim or Chamlong will enter politics.
There are a couple other factors to this that are intriguing. Since the PAD considers democratic politics to be corrupt and illegitimate because of vote buying, what will be their GOTV and canvassing strategies, presumably because they will refuse to buy votes. The only powerful political tool that they have is ASTV. Leveraging the power of ASTV to get out the vote is different than whipping up hysteria to get people to rallies to enjoy the excellent food and music.
Further, I doubt that the PAD will break the Democratic stronghold in the solid South and they are held mostly in contempt in Isaan and the North. I also doubt that will make any headway in the Godfather strongholds in Thonburi, Supanburi, Nakhon Panom, Trat. What exactly is the PAD constituency other than old Chinese housewives?
My gut feeling tells me that this will another one of those instances where a party will be developed half-arsed and will fall apart after an election.
If the PAD is true to its word and really tries to develop a serious party based on ideology with a strong determinination to stay in it for the long haul, I actually think it might be a good thing for Thai politics, especially if the PAD is true to its word about stomping out corruption.
If the PAD turns out to be more of the same old party politics, it really is screwing itself. The only thing that it has is its moral righteousness. Also, I doubt that "getting Thaksin" and spouting right-wing nationalist and royalist mantras are a winning formula for political success. Good for soundbites, not so good for a serious political platform.
Lastly, the PAD will finally have to explain what "New Politics" is. I doubt the worthless Thai media will get to the bottom of it, or even make the PAD accountable for their rhetoric.