The opposition Move Forward Party (MFP) is confident it can turn the electoral map of Bangkok orange, the party’s colour, by winning the most seats in the capital in the coming general election.
Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat made the prediction on Saturday as he visited Bang Kapi constituency and greeted people exercising at Klong Chan sports stadium and vendors at the Klong Chan housing project market. He was joined by deputy leader Picharn Chaowapatanawong and list MP Theeratchai Phantumas.
They handed out leaflets introducing the party’s policies and its prospective candidate for Bang Kapi constituency, former TV actress Sirilapas “Mew” Kongtrakarn.
They also introduced four other prospective candidates for nearby constituencies: Chalermchai Kulalert (Huai Kwang-Wang Thonglang), Thanadet Phengsuk (Lat Phrao-Wang Thonglang), Supakorn Tantipaiboonthana (Suan Luang-Prawet) and Natthapong Premsuksawat (Prawet-Saphan Sung).
Mr Pita said Ms Sirilapas had been recognised for her role as a TV actress and for speaking up on behalf of the public. She has been an outspoken critic of shortcomings of the government’s Covid-19 policies during the past two years.
The MFP leader expressed confidence that having candidates from many fields, along with progressive policies that covered all aspects, would win support from voters in Bang Kapi and other constituencies, turning Bangkok “orange”.
Ms Sirilapas said she was determined to work for people. While she was well known from her career as an actress, she said she wanted voters to judge her on her work and dedication in visiting the constituency and the courage to speak up.
Mr Picharn, in his capacity as the party’s strategist in Bangkok, expressed confidence that it would gain the most seats in the capital in the election that must be held by May 7.
The party has so far endorsed potential candidates for 30 out of 33 constituencies and will introduce candidates for all of them after the Election Commission finalises constituency boundaries, he said.
Move Forward believes it can win more than 70 seats nationwide, he added.
Its predecessor, the now-dissolved Future Forward Party, won 81 seats in the 2019 election, including 10 of the 30 constituency seats in Bangkok. While it won just 31 constituency seats nationwide, it finished a surprising third in the popular vote with nearly 6.3 million votes nationwide, giving it 50 party-list seats.
The party will hold a general assembly on Jan 28 to officially kick off its election campaign and announce its policies, which Mr Pita said would make people confident that it was ready to run the country.
The MFP has clearly rejected the Prayut Chan-o-cha regime and would never shake hands with any military-led parties, said the party leader. A new government formed from the current opposition parties would be the country’s best answer, he added.
Mr Pita also belittled reports that Gen Prayut is expected to formally apply for membership in the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party on Monday, saying it was just old wine in a new bottle.
He also said he believed a general debate on the Prayut government’s performance would go ahead in the House this month. The party will do its best to scrutinise the government even though there will be no vote at the end of the debate, said Mr Pita.
Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat is warmly received by vendors during his visit to Bang Kapi in Bangkok on Saturday. (Photo: Move Forward Party)