Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his capacity as the prime ministerial candidate of the United Thai Nation Party, was among a number of party leaders at Bangkok City Hall in Din Daeng this morning (Tuesday) to draw the numbers for party-list candidates and to submit party-list candidate names to the Election Commission.
Responding to a reporter’s question about how many seats he expects his party to win in the May 14th general election, he said that he cannot aim for 100 adding, however, that his party has competent people who are ready to do their jobs in parliament.
Asked by another reporter whether he hopes that his party will be at the core of the next government, Prayut said that it is an odd question because every party has the same goal of being in government.
Prayut is not a party-list candidate, nor are the prime ministerial candidates of the Pheu Thai Party, Paetongtarn Shinawatra and Srettha Thavisin.
Palang Pracharath Party leader General Prawit Wongsuwan, who is also the party’s prime ministerial candidate, is, however, among their party-list candidates, so as Pita Limjaroenrat of the Move Forward Party.
Explaining why she is not a party-list candidate, Paetongtarn said that, as long as a person is in a position which can make him or her useful to the people, that is the most important thing, adding that the Constitution does not require a prime ministerial candidate to be a party-list candidate or even an elected constituency member of parliament.
Although she is now eight-months pregnant, she said that she is still working for the people.
According to the election law, each party is eligible to submit up to 100 party-list candidates, which is equal to the number of party-list MPs in the 500-seat House of Representatives. The other 400 are constituency MPs.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the opposition Pheu Thai Party has arranged its party-list candidates based on seniority, with a retired police officer, Pol Lt-Gen Viroj Pao-in, as the first on the list, followed by former party leader Sompong Amornvivat, Prasert Chanthararuangthong, Chousak Sirinil and Chalerm Yubamrung.
The next group of candidates on the list are veteran party members from the now defunct Thai Rak Thai party, the predecessor of Pheu Thai. Among them are former Industry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit and former Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin, who recently quit the Palang Pracharath Party.
Pheu Thai leader, Cholnan Srikaew, said the party expects to win at least 50 party-list seats.
Public Health Minister and Bhumjaithai party leader Anutin Charnvirakul said today that he is not worried with the presence of whistle blower Chuwit Kamolvisit at City Hall today, or his relentless attacks on the party’s policy to decriminalise cannabis.
He said that the public response to the party remains positive and strong.
Kong Salak Plus Chief Executive Officer, Panthawat Nakvisut, led members of his Plien (Change) Party to Bangkok City Hall this morning to participate in the drawing of election numbers for party-list candidates.
Panthawat, who is currently facing charges for selling overpriced online lottery tickets, said the Plien Party hopes to win about three million votes in the upcoming general election and that the party’s main policy is to address the problems of grass roots people.
Panthawat said that he is not worried about the outstanding court cases against him, adding that he has already consulted with his lawyer.