By Thai Newsroom Reporters
AS MANY AS 50 MPs are largely expected to go party-hopping by no later than January in pursuit of chances of being reelected, forecast former election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn today (Oct 14).
Some 40 to 50 MPs are believed to leave their respective parties during the very early part of next year to contest under the tickets of other camps where their chances of being reelected would be relatively high, said Somchai who currently performs as head of the Thai Liberal Party’s policy steering committee.
Somchai stopped short of naming names among those MPs who might probably defect, mostly from the largest coalition Palang Pracharath Party, amidst reported fears of being defeated in the next general election, speculated early next year, if they opted to stay put.
The elected legislators face February 7 as the final day on which they may leave one party for another, as provided by law their membership of the party to which they may defect has to be formally registered for no less than 90 days ahead of the election date, he said.
The Election Commission has earlier tentatively scheduled the election date on May 7 on grounds that the House’s four-year term be fully consumed until its final day which falls on March 24, thus forcing the general election to be held within 45 days.
Nevertheless, the MPs may have their membership of the party to which they may defect in near future formally registered for no less than 30 days if the House is dissolved in the meantime, thus prompting the general election to be held within 60 days, according to the former commissioner of the polling agency.
Meanwhile, he categorically dismissed hearsay that the Thai Liberal Party, headed by Seripisut Temiyavej, might possibly be merged with another party in the run-up to the nationwide race to parliament to make it more likely for a united camp to get a minimum of 25 MPs as provided by law to name a partisan candidate for head of a post-election government.
Rumours have it that the Thai Sang Thai Party, headed by Sudarat Keyurapan, might possibly not only merge with the Sang Anakhot Thai Party, headed by Uttama Savanayana, but with the Thai Liberal Party as well.
Former election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn. Top photo: Matichon, Front Page photo: Naewna