The Fair Party says it is ready to welcome Padipat Suntiphada if the Move Forward MP is forced to leave his party in order to keep his job as the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.
Kannavee Suebsaeng, the secretary-general and only MP of the Fair Party, was responding on Saturday to speculation about the future of Mr Padipat once Move Forward is officially declared the lead party in the opposition.
Under parliamentary rules, the House speaker and his deputies cannot come from the main opposition party, so Mr Padipat’s position as deputy speaker is in jeopardy unless he leaves Move Forward.
Mr Kannavee said that so far there have been no formal talks between his party and Move Forward about Mr Padipat, an MP for Phitsanulok, switching parties.
The Fair Party MP said he had held personal talks with Mr Padipat when they met at parliament. He did not elaborate.
Ultimately, he said, the decision will be made by the new Move Forward executive committee, and he could not interfere with the party’s internal affairs.
“I affirm my party’s s stance to support and stand by the side of Move Forward in accordance with the people’s will. If Move Forward wants to talk, Fair will open all doors for it,” said Mr Kannavee.
Mr Pita said he was stepping down because the party urgently needed to get on with the job of becoming the official opposition. The leader of the opposition must be an MP and at the moment Mr Pita is suspended pending a Constitutional Court ruling on his eligibility.
It is believed that Move Forward wants to make sure Mr Padipat can continue as deputy speaker, even if it has to “expel” him in order for him to keep that position.
If Mr Padipat is expelled from the party, he will have 30 days to find a new home.
Mr Kannavee said the Fair Party was ready to help, and he believed the six-member Thai Sang Thai Party would also open all doors for Move Forward.