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Five small parties to discuss merger amid likely changes in party-list MP system


Five political parties each currently having just one or two seats in the lower house of Parliament will discuss in June a possible merger to be able to improve their chances in the next general election after the expected amendment of the party-list electoral system, a party leader said.

Pirawit Ruangluedolphak, Thai Rak Tham party-list MP and party leader, said the five parties would meet late May or early June to discuss a possible merger.

The four other parties are the Pua Chart Thai Party, the Thai Teachers for People Party, the Palang Chart Thai Party, and the Forests Conservation Party.

Pirawit, who is the chief whip of the five small parties, said the merger would be necessary after the expected amendments to the MPs election organic law.

The bill to amend the organic law is being vetted by a special House committee. Among other things, the bill seeks to amend the law to require two ballots – one for constituency-based MP elections and another for party-list election.

The amendment will also change the method for distributing the number of party-list MPs among political parties.

Pirawit said he has been informed by a member of the ad hoc House panel, Rawee Matchamadol, the leader of the New Palang Dharma Party and a part-list MP, that the panel was still debating how to calculate and distribute the number of party-list MPs.

Pirawit said some members of the ad hoc committee had proposed the use of all 500 MPs – 400 constituency-MPs and 100 party-list MPs – as the base for calculating the number of party-list House seats each party would earn. But other members are proposing the use of 100 party-list House seats as the base for calculation.

Pirawit said smaller parties would be at a disadvantage if the 100 House seats are used as the base for calculation and the five parties would have to merge and focus on contesting constituency-based House seats.

Published : April 14, 2022

By : THE NATION