By-election expected mid-May
A by-election to fill a House seat left vacant by former Palang Pracharath (PPRP) MP for Ratchaburi, Pareena Kraikupt, is likely to be held mid-May, a source said.
Sawaeng Boonmee, secretary-general of the Election Commission (EC), has signed a letter involving a draft decree calling for the by-election in Constituency 3 to be forwarded to the cabinet's secretariat, said the source.
Once the decree takes effect, the EC will set the date for the candidacy registration and the by-election.
The candidate application is tentatively scheduled for April 21-25 with the poll likely to be held on May 15, said the source.
Under the law, the by-election will be held within 45 days following the Supreme Court's ruling on Thursday to strip Ms Pareena of her parliamentary status for a serious violation of political ethics as an MP by possessing state land.
In its ruling, the court also bans Ms Pareena from running for political office at any level, national or local, for life. She is also prohibited from voting in any election for 10 years.
Deputy PPRP leader Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn expressed confidence that the party would retain the House seat in the by-election due to its popularity in the province even though it has yet to start the candidate selection process.
Akradet Wongpitakroj, a Democrat MP for Ratchaburi, said the party's executive board will decide as soon as possible if it will field a candidate in the poll.
He said Chaithip Kamolphantip, a former party candidate in Ratchaburi's Constituency 3 who came second in the 2019 general election, has closely engaged with locals and is a potential candidate for the poll.
Earlier, the Democrat Party cried foul over the PPRP's decision to field candidates in by-elections in Songkhla and Chumphon to fill seats previously held by the Democrats.
The Democrat Party claimed it was a matter of political etiquette.