Ruling Pheu Thai Party Refutes Plans To Scrap Electoral System

The ruling Pheu Thai Party has refuted claims that it plans to eliminate the party-list electoral system in a strategy to defeat the rising Move Forward Party (MFP) in the upcoming election.

Noppadon Pattama, a list MP from Pheu Thai, stated that he was unaware of such a strategy and affirmed that no such discussions had taken place within the party.

He addressed comments made by Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, who claimed she was told by a Pheu Thai representative that their charter amendment proposals would include removing the party-list system and maintaining the constituency voting method, with an overall count of 500 MPs elected through constituencies.

This approach, she noted, was designed to counter the MFP in the forthcoming election, citing a source within Pheu Thai.

The popularity of the MFP is on the rise, as shown by a National Institute of Development Administration (Nida) opinion poll in March.

Pita Limjaroenrat, MFP’s chief adviser, emerged as the top choice for prime minister with 42.75% support, an increase from 39.4% in the last poll, surpassing Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin of Pheu Thai, who received 17.75% of the votes, a decline from 22.35% in December.

“I am surprised by this rumor. It is unlikely that the party will only propose section-by-section charter amendments to scrap the party-list system,”said Mr. Noppadon, a former foreign affairs minister.

“The party is now focusing on amending the charter to establish a charter drafting assembly to draw up a new constitution.”

He also noted that any proposal to get rid of the party-list system would encounter strong opposition from MPs in the opposition and interim senators. “Don’t waste time discussing it. Such a proposal never existed,” he remarked.

Nikorn Chamnong, director of the Chartthaipattana Party and secretary to the charter referendum committee, also dismissed the rumor as baseless, asserting that the existing systems are adequate.

In the last general election, the MFP secured the majority of seats with 151 MPs—112 from constituencies and 39 from the party list, while Pheu Thai obtained 141 seats—112 from constituencies and 29 from the party list.

In the party-list contest, the MFP received more than 14 million votes, achieving victories in nearly all of the country’s 77 provinces.