PHEU THAI Party members appear to be queuing up to join its sister party Thai Raksa Chart, with former energy minister Pichai Naripthaphan and former deputy interior minister Sermsak Pongpanit among those who signed up yesterday.
Thai Raksa Chart’s leader Preechapol Pongpanit welcomed the newcomers yesterday, saying he believed the new policies created by experienced politicians will make his party a good choice for voters.
More Pheu Thai politicians have shown interest in joining Thai Raksa Chart, Preechapol said, though he rejected speculation that the move stemmed from internal conflicts in Pheu Thai.
He said both parties shared the same ideology – upholding democracy.
Khattiya Sawasdipol, a former core leader at Pheu Thai, was also said to be applying for membership in Thai Raksa Chart.
However, Pheu Thai’s key figure Chaturon Chaisang has decided to stay even though he had previously said he was reviewing his political future, prompting speculation that he might move to the sister party.
Besides, in a Facebook post yesterday, Pheu Thai’s core leader Watana Muangsook said Chaturon will contest as a constituency candidate in his home province of Chachoengsao.
Watana said Pheu Thai politicians had to either run in a constituency or move to another party if they wanted to ensure they have a seat in the Lower House.
The new election method might limit the number of party-list MPs, especially if Pheu Thai wins a large number of constituency seats. If Chaturon runs as a party-list MP, he may not get a seat.
Watana said he will also stay with Pheu Thai and run in a constituency in Bangkok’s Bang Khae district. He said some people had shifted to Thai Raksa Chart because they wanted to be elected, but were not comfortable with running as constituency candidates.
He added that their ideology against a non-democratic regime remains unchanged.