15 July 2024

Pheu Thai MP Khrumanit Sungpoom has warned the Move Forward party about widespread speculation that it plans to engage in political game play by expelling Deputy House Speaker Padipat Suntiphada from the party, so that it can claim the vacant leader of the opposition post and keep Padipat as Deputy House Speaker, but under the banner of another party.

The MP for the north-eastern province of Surin asked both the Move Forward party and Padipat to think twice about such a move, pointing out that such an expulsion would put Padipat in a difficult position when performing his duties as Deputy House Speaker.

Being expelled from a party is a serious matter, equivalent to political suicide, because it would hurt the dignity of the Deputy House Speaker’s post, said Khrumanit, as he reminded Padipat that he is among the MPs who voted to approve the latter’s selection as deputy House speaker.

According to the Constitution, being dismissed from a party strips the MP of his parliamentary status, unless he is accepted as a member of another party within 30 days. Also, there is no law which specifies that the deputy House speaker automatically loses his post if he is expelled from a party.

The opposition Fair party recently announced that it is ready to accept Padipat as a member, if he is expelled from Move Forward.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai deputy leader and government chief whip Adisorn Piengkes said today (Monday) that he does not want to interfere in the internal affairs of the Move Forward party, but would like to ask them what serious offence Padipat has committed that would justify expulsion.

The position of leader of the opposition remains vacant because Move Forward party leader Pita Limjaroenrat declined to assume the post, saying his ultimate aim is to become the prime minister.

According to tradition, the opposition leadership should automatically be passed to the leader of the second largest opposition party, which is the Democrat party, but that party lacks a leader, after Jurin Laksanawisit resigned to take responsibility for the party’s election defeat. The party has also been unable to hold meetings to elect the new leader and new executive committee.

The Move Forward party does not have a leader either, after Pita stepped down last week.