By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha is largely speculated to dissolve the House of Representatives no later than March 9 to call a general election in 60 days, said a partisan source today (Jan.31).
Prayut, who is seeking to retain power for two more years, will likely dissolve the House by March 9 at the latest or a couple of weeks before the current term of the elected legislative branch is otherwise scheduled to end on March 23, according to the source who only spoke on condition of anonymity.
Several parties have practically launched electoral campaigns in the provinces well ahead of March which marks the last month of the current fiscal year’s second quarter during which the funding of many government construction and development projects will have been started.
Prayut who will certainly be named Ruam Thai Sang Chart partisan candidate for head of a post-election government recently denied he would dissolve the House anytime soon to call the nationwide election in 60 days and said the Election Commission is currently working on the redemarcation of the constituencies nationwide in compliance with the constitution’s organic law pertaining to the election for MPs.
In the meantime, Prayut has been preparing himself for a House censure debate without a subsequent vote of confidence scheduled for February 15 and 16 which will certainly provide the premier and members of his cabinet who are contesting the general election the opportunity to announce and clarify the government’s performance and muster popular support for them ahead of the race to parliament, the partisan source said.
De facto Pheu Thai boss/former premier Thaksin Shinawatra earlier said Prayut is not going to dissolve the House anytime soon because, he said, the Ruam Thai Sang Chart which will certainly name him as partisan contender for prime minister is not yet done with the setting up of its provincial branches nationwide as part of the legally-bound preparations to contest the general election.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam recently advised that the Election Commission manage to redemarcate constituencies nationwide in prompt fashion to comply with the election law which has increased the number of MPs in constituency-based mode to 400. Of a total of 500 elected lawmakers, the 100 others will be voted in party-listed mode.
That compared to the 2019 election in which the number of constituency-based MPs totaled 350 and that of the party-listed MPs amounted to 150.
The polling agency had preferred a 45-day period be provided for the redemarcation of the constituencies prior to the speculated House dissolution by the prime minister but the deputy premier in charge of legal affairs voiced his dissent, saying the House dissolution is generally considered a political phenomenon which may occur at any time, either sooner or later than one may have anticipated.
In case that Prayut dissolves the House on any day prior to March 23 which marks the end of its four- year term, the MPs who may seek re-election are legally obliged to have been registered as members of a contesting party for a minimum of 30 days ahead of the election date.
That compared to the possibility of the House not being dissolved, thus forcing the general election to be held in 45 days upon the end of its four-year term, scheduled for March 23.
In that case, the MPs who may seek re-election are legally bound to have been attached to a contesting party for a minimum of 90 days ahead of the election date, thus forcing those who may have contemplated hopping from their current camp to another to do so no later than February 7 at the cost of their own MP status.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Matichon