By Thai Newsroom Reporters
NEARLY ALL OF A dozen Palang Pracharath MPs of Bangkok might probably hop over to the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party in support of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s design to prolong his rule after the next general election, said a veteran MP today (Dec.3).
Palang Pracharath MP Veerakorn Khamprakop said nearly all the 12 MPs of Bangkok are more or less speculated to defect from the largest coalition partner to the pro-Prayut party to help with the current premier’s scheme to remain in power for about two more years as allowed by court after the nationwide election.
Those Bangkok lawmakers, if reelected early next year, will be an addition to those currently representing southern constituencies under the banners of the Palang Pracharath, Bhumjaithai or Democrat, who are as well expected to hop over to the Ruam Thai Sang Chart, according to the eight-time MP.
Many more elected lawmakers in all parts of the country are being persuaded in closed-door fashion to follow suit of those who may have already planned to switch over to the pro-Prayut camp, including Suchart Chomklin who has been recently deposed as Palang Pracharath director.
Meanwhile, Veerakorn forecast Prayut will not dissolve the House of Representatives until around the middle of March and then call a general election in 60 days as provided by law.
The dissolution of the House, albeit a week or two before its four-year term is scheduled to end, will legally oblige the premier into calling a general election in 60 days whilst any MPs contemplating party-hopping may have enough time to leave one party for another and register themselves as partisan members for a minimum of 30 days ahead of the election date.
The period of the electoral contestants’ partisan membership will be extended to a minimum of 90 days ahead of the election date if the premier decides against dissolving the House and instead letting the legislative branch completely live out its four-year term, scheduled to end on March 24, and calling the general election in 45 days as provided by law.
But those MPs who might probably remain undecided as to whether they will jump onto the Ruam Thai Sang Chart bandwagon or stay on with their current coalition party would not have enough time to get themselves formally attached to the pro-Prayut party for a minimum of 90 days ahead of the election date if the House was not dissolved in the meantime, the veteran MP said.
Veerakorn said it is very unlikely for Prayut to dissolve the House anytime soon since he may have to give the anxious, reluctant MPs the longest possible period of time to think it over until around the middle of March.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha standing next to a Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party logo, above, and talking to reporters, Front Page. Top photo: Khao Hoon, Front Page photo: Thai Rath