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Wife to Run for Bangkok Seat of Disgraced MP

While no poll yet has been set for Bangkok governor, the MP by-election will be held Jan. 30

Convicted fraudster and former Bangkok MP Sira Jenjaka from Palang Pracharath Party, right, can't run again, but he got his wife, Saranrat, left, to run to be his puppet.
Convicted fraudster and former Bangkok MP Sira Jenjaka from Palang Pracharath Party, right, can't run again, but he got his wife, Saranrat, left, to run to be his puppet.

There’s still no date for the years-overdue election of a new governor, but the government will hold an election in Bangkok to fill the seat of a member of the parliament at the end of January.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam disclosed that the Cabinet has approved a royal decree to hold a by-election in Constituency 9 of the capital, with the date expected to be on Jan. 30.

The by-election is being called to fill a vacancy left by Sira Jenjaka from Palang Pracharath Party, who was disqualified by the Constitutional Court last week.

He was convicted of fraud by the Pathumwan District Court in 1995 and sentenced to four months in jail. He must also pay for expenses incurred when conducting the last election of Constituency 9, while the Election Commission will cover the costs of the upcoming election.

Government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said candidate registrations will take place from Jan. 6-10, following the royal decree that is expected to take effect on Jan. 2.

There’s still no date for the election of a new Bangkok governor, however. No election has been held since before the 2014 coup and was earlier postponed indefinitely.

Candidates expected to run for the vacant seat include Atavit Suwannapakdee from the Kla Party (“Brave Party”), Surachart Thienthong of the Pheu Thai Party, and Karunpol Thiansuwan from the Move Forward Party while the PPRP party will nominate the wife of the disgraced MP, Saranrat Jenjaka, as the party’s candidate for the by-election.

The Cabinet also approved revisions to two organic laws on Tuesday, one related to governing the election of MPs and the other governing political parties. Both are required for the next general election.

A dual-ballot system will be then used to elect 400 constituency MPs and 100 list MPs if the changes are approved by Parliament.