Opposition ready for elections but still wants constitution amended first

Two prominent members of Thailand’s opposition said Monday they were ready for an election after rumours of parliament being dissolved resurfaced.

After the parliament approved a bill for the 500-billion-baht loan for relief measures for Covid-19 last week, talks of dissolving parliament have re-emerged amid criticism of the government’s mismanagement of the pandemic and vaccine distribution.

“With the current political situation being very delicate due to people’s dissatisfaction and quarrels within the government coalition, the chances of parliament being dissolved and a new round of elections held are always possible,” said Pichai Naripthaphan, deputy leader of the Pheu Thai party.

Pichai told Thai Enquirer that, in his assessment, the government can only go on for so long and then there will be another round of elections.

Move Forward Party MP Ransiman Rome said: “The best way out for this country right now is starting with the Prime Minister to resign.”

“The Prime Minister has the right to dissolve parliament, but what we are more concerned about is Prayut will come back to power thanks to the 2017 constitution.”

Both individuals stated that they would prefer the constitution to be amended prior to elections, to limit Premier Prayut Chan-ocha’s ability to skew the elections in his favour.

“We hope we are able to amend the constitution to prevent the senate from being able to vote back Prayut and we want to make the election rules fair and more democratic” said Pichai.

Rome also said he was concerned about other constitutional amendments put forward by the ruling Palang Pracharat Party that would work in the opposite direction, cementing Prayut’s hold on power.

Both parties said they were ready to contest a poll if parliament is dissolved.

“We have been ready for quite a while and have people ready to fill all of the districts,” said Pichai.

“We want a new election because we believe we can do a better job than the current government, especially with the dire state the economy is in, which needs a government that has the capability in economic recovery.”

“The Move Forward Party is ready to compete in any level of election,” said Rome. “Our only concern is making sure we agree on a set of rules that benefits the people and reflects their will.”

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