February 24, 2023
BANGKOK – So far, only Prayut’s Ruam Thai Sang Chart (United Thai Nation) Party has opened local branches or representative offices in all 77 provinces, making it eligible to contest in all constituencies throughout the country, the EC said on Thursday.
The new party, set up in March 2021, is expected to nominate General Prayut as its sole prime ministerial candidate to contest the next general election tentatively scheduled for May 7. Prayut was the sole PM candidate of the current ruling party, Palang Pracharath, in the previous election in March 2019.
Palang Pracharath can now contest in only 44 provinces, judging from the number of provinces where it has local branches or representative offices.
In second place is the opposition Move Forward Party, which is eligible to contest in 76 provinces, followed by the ruling coalition’s Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties, and the opposition Pheu Thai Party, all eligible to contest in 75 provinces.
Next are Seree Ruam Thai (68 provinces), Klong Thai (59), Thai Economics (56), Thai Sang Thai (47), Thai Opportunity (45), Palang Pracharath (44), Thai Pakdee (42), and National Strategy Party (42).
The remaining 73 parties can contest in fewer than 40 provinces unless they set up more local branches or representative offices before registering to contest the election.
Among the most prominent in this last group are the ruling coalition Chart Pattana Kla, which is now eligible to contest in 32 provinces, and Chart Thai Pattana (17), and the opposition’s Prachachat Party (eight provinces).
According to the law, political parties must have a representative office or local branch in any province they intend to contest in a general election.