By Thai Newsroom Reporters
MANY SOUTHERN CANDIDATES running in constituency-based mode have quietly dumped their own parties and used personal resources to help themselves and caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who is contesting to prolong his rule under the Ruam Thai Sang Chart tickets, according to NIDA Poll director Suwicha Pao-ari.
The unsettling phenomenon allegedly conducted by these constituency-based contestants has been reported in several of a total of 60 southern constituencies where Prayut has gradually secured popularity among constituents in the May 14 general election, Suwicha said last night (Apr.26).
The NIDA Poll director did not elaborate on how many southern contestants may have allegedly told their canvassers and others to encourage voters to pick the Ruam Thai Sang Chart on their party-listed ballot and forget about other parties including their own but confirmed many more were quietly following suit.
These constituency-based contestants were only seeking to get elected with the use of their own resources and without concrete help of the party where they currently belong whilst suggesting canvassers and constituents to not bother about those running in party-listed mode under the banners of their own party since they intended to choose Prayut’s camp instead, Suwicha said.
They would personally prefer Prayut over their own party leader, who is also running for prime minister after the May 14 election, he commented.
Without naming names, the NIDA academic apparently referred to incumbent coalition partners, namely the Palang Pracharath, Bhumjaithai and Democrat, who are not only competing against one another but against Prayut’s Ruam Thai Sang Chart throughout the southern region.
That referred to Palang Pracharth leader Prawit Wongsuwan, Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul and Democrat leader Jurin Laksanavisit, all running as No.1 on their respective party list and concurrently being named partisan candidate for prime minister.
The Ruam Thai Sang Chart under whose tickets Prayut is contesting to retain power without putting himself among those vying in party-listed mode is still obliged to have a minimum of one-fifth of a total of 500 MPs or at least 25 to be eligible to be named partisan contender for head of a post-election government.
Top: Caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and a map of southern Thailand.
Insert: NIDA Poll director Suwicha Pao-ari.
Front Page: Caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha canvassing recently. All photo: Matichon