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In a tactical move, Move Forward party sacks Padipat

In a tactical move, Move Forward party sacks Padipat
Written by World Events

Deputy House speaker Padipat Santiphada

The opposition Move Forward party on Thursday expelled one of its key members Padipat Suntiphada, paving the way for him to retain his post as a deputy House speaker under a new political banner.

The decision, which was announced in a statement issued late Thursday night, is seen as a calculated move by the opposition party to strengthen its legislative role.

Padipat, who was appointed deputy House speaker in early July, has 30 days to switch to a new political party to keep his MP status. At least two opposition political parties have indicated that they are ready to welcome the 42-year-old politician.

Padipat’s expulsion has been long anticipated as a tactical move to ensure that the post of deputy House speaker will still be in the hand of Move Forward’s allies while it plays the full-fledged role as the main opposition party.

In the statement, Move Forward said its executive committee and MPs have resolved that its newly-appointed leader Chaitawat Tulathon will accept the post of opposition leader. However, constitutionally the party cannot assume the post of House speaker or deputy House speaker at the same time.

The statement said the party tried unsuccessfully to convince Padipat to vacate his deputy House speakership. “Padipat has stated his intention to continue to perform his deputy as deputy House speaker to ensure that the House functions with efficiency, transparency, and taking people’s interest into account,” he said.

It said Padipat also wants to oversee the completion of the long-delayed handover of the parliament building to ensure transparency.

“Since Padipat insists on continuing his role as deputy House speaker, Move Forward Party finds it necessary to expel him to conform with its regulations and the Constitution so that it can play the full-fledged role of the opposition,” the statement said.

It said though Padipat is no longer a member of the party, he will continue to do his job as deputy House speaker to fulfil his pre-election pledges.

Padipat has not yet indicated which party he plans to join.  At least two opposition parties, Fair and Thai Sang Thai, have indicated that they will be happy to welcome him.


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