Connect with us

News

More than 100 new political parties poised to launch next month

Published

 on 

PHOTO: Suthep Thaugsuban

by Attayuth Bootsripoom

More than 100 new political parties are expected to launch next month after registration opens on Friday. It will be the first time since the military coup in May 2014 that political activities will be officially allowed.

A junta order signed by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha last December allows new political parties to be registered, along with their members, starting on March 1, with existing parties able to start membership confirmation from April 1. The order in effect relaxes some rules and deadlines set in the Political Parties Act.

Starting from this Friday (given that Thursday is a public holiday) party founders are expected to register the names and symbols of new political parties with the Election Commission. As many as 114 groups of people have already informed the EC of their intention to form new parties.

However, the requirements of the Political Parties Act require more than party names and logos for the registration to be accepted. Additional hurdles include a minimum number of registered members and party branches in different regions of the country.

Judging from the nature of the different groups, new parties could be divided into three main categories – those backing the return of junta chief Prayut as prime minister after the next election, those that expect to become a partner in a future coalition government, and those offering themselves as new alternatives in politics.

The first group has gained much attention recently after announcing their pro-military stance and a plan to support Prayut’s return as government head. These include the Reform People Party initiated by former senator Paiboon Nititawan, the Great Mass of People Party initiated by veteran politician Suthep Thaugsuban, and the Public State Party reportedly planned by a pro-military group.

According to some sources, the last group of people has links to the ruling junta National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and the party’s name could resemble the government’s large-scale development project, which is called “Pracha Rath” in Thai.
Another planned pro-military new party is expected to be called “For Thai Nation”. It was initiated by Ampapan Thanetdejsunthorn, the wife of late former Army commander-in-chief General Sunthorn Kongsompong. While serving as the Armed Forces supreme commander, Sunthorn in 1991 led the National Peacekeeping Council to stage a coup that overthrew the then-elected government.

Deputy Premier and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan yesterday declined to comment on reports that Suthep was about to set up a new party in support of Prayut’s return as prime minister.

“I don’t know. You need to ask Suthep,” Prawit said.

The second group expects their new political parties to join the next government as coalition partners. These include a party to be called Citizen Power and set up by a group of old-style politicians from different current and defunct parties – some of them controversial. They include Samphan Lertnuwat, Wichai Chaijitwanitkul, Ekkaporn Rakkwamsuk, Wiwatanachai Nakalasin and Choksamarn Silawong.

New rules under the current Constitution make it more likely for smaller political parties to gain MP seats thanks to the “proportional representation electoral system” in which “every votes count”. Political observers and experts have predicted that many smaller parties will win a handful of MP seats in the next election.

That explains why there is speculation that some well-established existing parties also plan to set up new political parties as nominees in the hope of sharing votes in constituencies dominated by their rival parties.

The last group of new parties will offer themselves as alternatives to the old-time parties. Among them is a party likely to be formed by a group of activists and academics from the Nitirat group, including the young scholar Piyabutr Saengkanokkul. It is reportedly going to be supported by tycoon Thanathorn Juangroong-ruangkit, whose family owns the giant auto-parts maker Thai Summit Group.

More than 100 new political parties poised to launch next month | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Paiboon Nititawan

STORY: The Nation

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2011. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 42 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,950 in Thailand alone, hosted 1050 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Drugs25 mins ago

Four members of drug gang arrested in Nakhon Si Thammarat

North East50 mins ago

Military mum calls for justice over slain son

Tourism1 hour ago

Why aren’t tourists returning to Khao San Road?

Sponsored2 days ago

Where you can get cannabis in Bangkok

Crime1 hour ago

A burglar, in a hole, in the roof, in the night

Drugs2 hours ago

Drug policy outlines by PM, cash rewards to police in busts

World Cup3 hours ago

World Cup to be shown in Thai prison

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Economy3 hours ago

UK exports to Japan slump after ‘landmark’ free trade deal

Thailand4 hours ago

Try These Weird Thai Foods… If You Dare

World22 hours ago

Thai gangs traffic Kenyans to Myanmar scam factories

South23 hours ago

Deep South emergency decree extended 3 months

Thailand23 hours ago

Why Is Thailand So Cheap?

Expats1 day ago

Phuket’s 5 best golf courses

Crime1 day ago

Inmate who escaped Khon Kaen hospital back in custody

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Masks recommended in crowds amid Covid increase

Crime1 day ago

Squabbling beach vendor gives rival a single bullet warning

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending