The more radical Move Forward Party appears to be well placed in Bangkok to elect MPs and is hopeful to return to the next parliament with more seats and perhaps even some at the cabinet table when the next government is formed in the months to come.
A Move Forward Party election candidate in Bangkok has called on the Election Commission to act decisively after discovering that the party’s logo appears faded out in a listing of parties at one of the polling stations in the city. It appeared to be the only party impacted by the printing lapse. Mr Chayut Chaturaphonprasit described the discovery as disturbing and insisted he did not want to think the worst and therefore called for the situation to be rectified by election officials. The progressive party appears to be surging in opinion polls with party bigwigs suggesting a broadening of its support base to include older people while predicting it could be on course to elect over 100 MPs to the House of Representatives and possibly a role in the next government.
As the prospects of the Move Forward Party appear to be rising with the party leadership in recent days appearing confident that it can take over 100 seats in the General Election with a strong response from the campaign in Bangkok, there was dismay on Tuesday when Mr Chayut Chaturaphonprasit, the Move Forward candidate for Yannawa-Bang Kho Laem District in the city, noticed that logo of the political party was faded or nearly entirely missing from polling station information printed on a board at a polling station in Bang Kho Laem.
The election candidate said he was prepared to accept that it was just a printing mistake but was disturbed to see all the other party’s logos clearly visible for potential voters to inspect.
Election Commission called on to rectify the problem quickly while party activists are urged to inspect materials at all polling stations nationwide
He called on the Election Commission to urgently address the issue and rectify the situation before polling day on May 14th next.
He also sent the word out to all other Move Forward Party activists to check preparations in polling stations around the country to rectify any similar problems that may arise.
The Bangkok candidate said that the Election Commission should respond decisively so that the public’s faith in the integrity of the election process is upheld.
He said responding to such situations like this would be an acid test to demonstrate its commitment to a free, fair and open election.
It was important, he said, for the election to be the will of the people and for any potential manipulation of that voice to be eliminated.
Party Secretary-general at Bangkok rally predicts over 100 seats in the May General Election with over 21% support across the country in the latest poll
He admitted that the fact that the logo of just the Move Forward Party going missing appeared peculiar.
It inevitably leads to suspicions that there may be an effort to suppress the party’s vote particularly as the logos for other parties were all, equally, clearly legible.
The Move Forward Party’s Bangkok-based leader, Mr Pita Limjaroenrat, has been campaigning well in the General Election so far and the party has been seen as successful at differentiating itself and its message from the Pheu Thai Party which leads the polls with over 47% support.
Last Saturday, at a rally in Samyan Mitrtown in central Bangkok, the Secretary-general of the Move Forward Party, Mr Chaithawat Tulathon predicted that it would return to the House of Representatives with at least 100 seats with 20 of those being party list seats.
A broadening of the party base also seen
The polls suggest it could be right with the last National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) opinion poll showing Move Forward with 21.2% of the national vote.
There is also encouraging evidence from the party’s rallies that it is supported by a broadening base of both younger and older demographics with many voters seeing it as a more democratic alternative for Thailand.
‘After working hard over the past four years, people are starting to recognise the Move Forward Party’s determination to solve the country’s problems,’ Mr Chaithawat said. ‘Many people want to see a new generation of leaders ruling the country.’