By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE PALANG PRACHARATH will very likely get more MPs than the Ruam Thai Sang Chart in the May 14 general election but not enough to become core of government, predicted a Chulalongkorn political scientist today (Apr.19).
Siripan Nogsuan Sawasdee of Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Political Science forecast that the Palang Pracharath, headed by Prawit Wongsuwan who is contesting the nationwide election as sole partisan contender for prime minister, will get more MPs than the Ruam Thai Sang Chart under whose tickets caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is running to retain power.
Though both parties are generally viewed as conservative camps, Prayut’s is widely seen as the most outstanding archrival against the likes of the liberal Pheu Thai and Move Forward, Siripan said.
She said many conservative voters might probably be as yet undecided over which one between Prawit’s party and Prayut’s camp to vote in the May 14 election.
Nevertheless, only few among the Palang Pracharath rank and file have hopped over to Prayut’s camp, the political scientist pointed out.
According to the Chulalongkorn academic, dozens of veteran Palang Pracharath MPs, alongside other electoral candidates sharing the banners of Prawit’s camp, will likely get re-elected mostly in constituency-based mode.
But she predicted that the conservative Palang Pracharath which is advertising a strategic campaign slogan to “step beyond conflict” will not get enough MPs to make a core of government, compared to the liberal Pheu Thai of which deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is invariably viewed as de facto boss.
It will be anyone’s guess as to whether the Palang Pracharath and Pheu Thai might possibly join hands to set up a coalition government in which the Move Forward will be very unlikely to join, she said.
Largely speculated to get most MPs in the May 14 election, she said, the Pheu Thai will be unlikely to afford to hand over the premiership to the Palang Pracharath leader, who publicly announced he had been by no means involved in the 2014 coup orchestrated as Prayut as army chief.
Prawit could probably be given yea votes from some of the 250 senators, all of whom had been handpicked by himself and Prayut.
The coup junta-designed constitution empowers the unelected senators to vote alongside the elected MPs for head of a post-election government in a joint House/Senate session.
Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan, left, and caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, right. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Matichon
Insert: Siripan Nogsuan Sawasdee. Photo: Matichon