Ousted MPs apply to join Setthakij Thai
Eighteen MPs booted from the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) have formally applied to join the Setthakij Thai Party (Thai Economic Party), according to the latter group.
A source in parliament said Setthakij Thai wrote to the parliament secretariat office on Jan 26 offering the names of the 18 MPs applying to be its members.
The number dropped from 21 MPs who initially reported to be moving to the new party after they were purged from the PPRP on Jan 19.
The PPRP removed the 21 MPs, including their leader Capt Thamanat Prompow, who served as its secretary-general, after he demanded a radical restructuring of the party and threatened to stir up trouble if his demands were not met, said PPRP deputy leader Paiboon Nititawan.
The three MPs who are not joining Setthakij Thai are Khon Kaen MP Watthana Changlao, Nakhon Ratchasima MP Somsak Panket and list MP Ekkarat Changlao.
Denying any knowledge of Capt Thamanat's push for party restructuring, they have petitioned the PPRP executive board to review its expulsion order.
A source said if their petition was rejected, the three MPs might move to the Bhumjaithai Party.
Last week, Boonsing Warinrak, one of the purged MPs, said MPs will announce their membership of Setthakij Thai ahead of the opposition's general debate, tentatively set for Feb 16-18.
The debate is expected to cover the rising cost of living, Covid-19 and African swine fever outbreaks, political reform failures and flawed management of key policies.
Capt Thamanat said on Facebook yesterday that he and other MPs in his faction were no longer in the PPRP because they wanted to pursue constructive political interests.
He denied they were switching to a new party to negotiate cabinet posts with the PPRP.