11 July 2024

At least, 14 candidates of the pro-Thaksin Pheu Chart party have changed their names to “Thaksin” for the men and “Yingluck” for the women when they applied for registration on Monday.

Pheu Chat party deputy leader Aree Krainara said the 14 candidates changed their names because they personally like the two former prime ministers whose names, they believe, can be easily remembered by voters.

He also said that the name changes were a political gimmick because there are so many rules and regulations which restrict election campaigning.

He indicated that more candidates had changed their names but he could only remember 14 of them.

Mr. Jatuporn Promphan, leader of the pro-Thaksin red-shirt movement and a co-founder of Pheu Chart party, said he understood the changes of names of the 14 party’s candidates were personal affairs and he respected their decisions.

Nakhon Ratchasima provincial election chief Sirichai Viriyapong said that there is no law which prohibits electoral candidates from changing their names, but they must be able to show formal documents to election officials of their name changes.

Meanwhile Election Commission secretary-general Jaroongwit Poomma disclosed that altogether 4,428 candidates from 57 political parties registered their candidacy in 329 constituencies across the country on Monday – the first day of the registration period which is due to end on Friday.

The Democrat party tops the list with the highest number of registered candidates at 278, followed by the pro-junta Palang Pracharat party’s 274 candidates, Seri Ruam Thai party’s 270 candidates, Future Forward party’s 267 candidates and Bhumjai Thai party’s 264 candidates.

Jaroongwit warned political parties not to submit the lists of their party-list candidates on Friday, the last day of the registration period, saying that, if their documents are incomplete of that day, they may lose their right to contest the election regarding party-list MPs.

Only two small parties submitted their lists of party-list candidates to election officials at the Office of the Election Commission on Monday.  They are Thai Dham party which submitted a list of only nine party-list candidates plus the names of three prime ministerial candidates and the Thai Social Democratic party which submitted a list of six party-list candidates plus the name of prime ministerial candidate, Somsak Kosaisook, also the party leader.

EC deputy secretary-general Nat Laoseesaowakul said election officials would check the qualifications of all the registered candidates and would announce the names of all qualified candidates on February 15th.

Candidates, whose documents are incomplete or whose personal information is found to be false, may not be eligible to contest the poll, he added.