PPRP faction holds popularity survey
A recent survey conducted by a faction led by Capt Thamanat Prompow, secretary-general of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), shows the popularity of some MPs in the South has declined, a party source said.
The poll gave weight to MPs in the South and Bangkok that they were elected largely because of the popularity of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha rather than their own capabilities or having their own support base, as opposed to MPs in the North and Northeast, many of whom belong to Capt Thamanat's faction, the source said.
The MPs in the North and the Northeast were elected due to other factors rather than relying solely on Gen Prayut's popularity, the source said, adding that several MPs had no knowledge of the poll being conducted to gauge their popularity.
According to the poll results for southern MPs, only four out of 14 MPs met the popularity criteria. They are Narathiwat MP Samphan Mayuso, Narathiwat MP Watchara Yawohasan, Songkhla MP Wanchai Parinyasiri and Nakhon Si Thammarat MP Rong Boonsuaykwan, the source said.
Moreover, the poll did not give those MPs who failed to meet the criteria any advice on how to improve their popularity ratings, said the source.
However, some MPs aware of the poll conducted by Capt Thamanat's faction questioned the poll's intent and noted that it may have been intended to be used as an excuse for not fielding those MPs in the next election as some of them do not belong to Capt Thamanat's group, the source said. Moreover, some also questioned if the poll may also be used to pressure those MPs to switch their allegiance to Capt Thamanat's group in exchange for getting a chance to run in the next election, the source said.
Commenting on the poll, Mr Rong, who sits on the PPRP's executive committee, said that he did not know what criteria were used to assess an MP's popularity. However, the party's committee tasked with selecting election candidates will meet on Tuesday and the poll issue is expected to be discussed during the meeting, he said.
He said the poll was just a one-off, adding that he did not think party executives will use it as a basis to decide whether to field a candidate in the next election.
"It does not hurt to believe the poll, but it should not be taken seriously," Mr Rong said.