The Pheu Thai Party is actively pursuing a makeover with a particular emphasis on amplified social media engagement, in hopes of enhancing their performance in next elections following their loss to the Move Forward Party (MFP) in the May 14 vote.
A seminar was organized on Wednesday, welcoming the party leaders as well as victorious and unsuccessful candidates to evaluate the aftermath of the election.
After the seminar, party head Cholnan Srikaew stated that the gathering was intended to strengthen the spirits of all the candidates, regardless of their electoral success or failure.
“Even though the party came second in the poll [after the MFP], all the candidates’ hard work is still very much admired,” Dr Cholnan expressed.
Unofficial results show that Pheu Thai secured 141 seats in the House, lagging behind the MFP, who leads with the highest number of elected MPs at 152, in the vote.
Dr Cholnan confirmed the formation of a working group, to be guided by prominent party member Noppadon Pattama, to examine the election results.
Furthermore, he stated that every candidate was directed to conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) examination and present the findings for a dialogue in the upcoming seminar.
“We won’t point fingers at each other, but we will accept the truth so we can adjust and move forward,” Dr Cholnan stated.
Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the party’s candidate for Prime Minister, claimed that the election result is not disaster for Pheu Thai but rather serves as a motivational catalyst to push the party forward.
Srettha Thavisin, another candidate for the Prime Minister post, shared that the next course of action is to remodel the party’s image, assigning a dedicated working group for this purpose.
Upon questioning if the Pheu Thai’s rebranding strategy would resemble that of the MFP, Dr Cholnan stated that while the specifics were yet to be decided, the party’s distinctiveness would be preserved and imitation of others avoided.
“We won’t go so far as to abandon our own identity,” Dr Cholnan maintained.
“We have to interweave strategies in dealing with the virtual world and the real world. They must work hand in glove,” he stated.
Prasert Chantararuangthong, the Pheu Thai secretary-general, revealed that seminar participants agreed on the pivotal role social media can play in influencing voters due to its effectiveness in reaching a broad audience.
Social media is used by over 50 million people in Thailand, according to Mr Prasert.
The party has acknowledged the influence of social media and intends to fully leverage it in forthcoming elections, he disclosed.
“We now look ahead to the next election. Election candidates must hone their skills in using social media as it plays a key role,” Mr Prasert pointed out.
He asserted that democratic principles are still dominant as the election results demonstrated that over 70% of voters preferred parties advocating democracy.
A number of candidates who defected from Pheu Thai to parties associated with the coup plotters encountered defeat in the election, Mr Prasert noted.
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