Did Suthep promise to “never come back to politics again”?
For the past few weeks, the former leader of the now-defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) has been found walking around in various provinces handing out membership registration forms to join the Action Coalition for Thailand (ACT) party. In various incidences, he was faced with a simple question from civilians, “Didn’t you say you were done with politics?”.
For clarity on the matter, here is how it all began.
If you answered true, you are absolutely right. Mr. Suthep spoke in public that he was no longer interested in returning to politics. Rewind back to 2013-14 when PDRC protestors initially gathered to prevent the Yingluck administration from passing the Amnesty Bill, the infamous Mr. Suthep got on stage and said some words that are forged into his legacy.
While he got on stage for one of his public speeches with his supporters, he said
“I will announce to all of you right now, if the Yingluck cabinet dissolves, I will never run for MP again”
After the Amnesty Bill was successfully prevented, the PDRC demanded for politics to be reformed prior to the next election while the Yingluck administration wants elections to be held immediately. This conflict led to the PDRC forming a new demonstration, calling it “the final battle”.
After the coup happened which resulted in the dispersal of the PDRC movement, Suthep ordained as a monk for over a year. After leaving the monkhood in 2015, he spoke to the press saying
“I have decided to leave the monkhood. I will not run for MP again and I will never walk the political road again, I’ve had enough.”
On his 67th birthday in 2016, he reiterated his point to the press, saying:
“I am not going back into politics, and I will definitely not form a new party nor will take a position to scout for potential MPs”.
In early June of 2018 during an announcement of the ACT party’s directions, Mr. Suthep said that he will not pick up any position in politics but he felt the need to help his people form this party. Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban is currently a co-founder of the ACT party and acts as its leader promoting Thais to become a member of the newly-formed political party.