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Mass resignation of 29 MPs sparks expectation of early election

ANN/THE NATION THAILAND – The Thailand House of Representatives yesterday acknowledged the mass resignation of 29 MPs, leaving only 442 still working in the Lower Chamber.

Deputy House Speaker Supachai Phosu informed the House that 29 MPs had submitted resignations on Wednesday to take effect yesterday.

The MPs are thought to have quit to contest the upcoming general election under new party banners. The election is scheduled for May 7 but could be earlier if the prime minister dissolves the House before its four-year term ends on March 22.

There is strong speculation that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will now dissolve the House to avoid by-elections needed to fill vacant seats left by quitting MPs.

The current House now holds the record for MPs resignations. Since October 6, 36 MPs have quit – 12 from Palang Pracharath, eight from Pheu Thai, eight from Move Forward, two from Setthakij Thai, and one each from the Democrats, Seri Ruam Thai, Ruam Palang, Prarcha Piwat, Prachachart, and Chart Pattana.

Leaving even more empty seats in the House were the 14 MPs disqualified by courts and eight more suspended pending court rulings, mostly related to graft cases.

The ruling coalition has now been reduced to 250 MPs – 85 from Palang Pracharath, 62 from Bhumjaithai, 51 from the Democrats, 14 from Setthakij Thai, 12 from Chart Thai Pattana, six from New Economics, four from Ruam Palang, five Thai Local MPs, three from Chart Pattana, two from Rak Puen Pa Thai, and one each from the Ruam Paen Din Thai, Pua Chart Thai, Kru Thai Pua Prachachon, Thai Citizen, New Democracy, and New Palang Dharma parties.

The opposition benches now have 192 MPs – 123 from Pheu Thai, 45 from Move Forward, 10 from Seri Ruam Thai, six from Prachachart, six from Pua Chart, and one each from the Palang Puanchon Thai and Thai Civilized parties.

Photo shows the Thai Parliament. PHOTO: THE NATION THAILAND

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