11 July 2024

Palang Pracharath party-list MP Watanya Bunnag, aka “Madame Dear”, announced her resignation as a member of parliament and from the party this morning (Tuesday), apparently in a show of responsibility for the “saddening” incident in the parliament yesterday, when the joint sitting of the parliament was adjourned due to the lack of a quorum.

The House meeting collapse yesterday essentially killed an election bill designed to benefit small political parties with a better chance of winning party-list MP seats in the next general elections.

Watanya said in her Facebook post today that parliament should be a place on which people can depend, but it was used as an arena for political games, which has ruined public trust because it cannot respond to the aspirations of the people.

She said that she respects the difference in the opinions of individual MPs over the method of the calculation of party-list MPs, by the use of 100 or 500 as the divisor, adding, however, that parliament should be the proper channel through which they settle their differences.

The government MP also said that, during her 1,168 days as an MP, she had performed her duties through the parliamentary mechanism although, occasionally, she might have disagreed with the opinions of her Palang Pracharath party.

Watanya shot into the public spotlight when she and a small group of Palang Pracharath MPs, known as the “Dao Roek” (Fixed Stars), abstained from voting for Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, of the Bhumjaithai, a coalition party, following a censure debate in February last year, in defiance of the party whip to vote for ministers of all parties. The group’s move angered the Bhumjaithai party.