New Economics Leaves Opposition Bloc, Taking Away 6 MPs

A file photo of a news conference by New Economy Party

BANGKOK — The New Economics Party on Friday said it left the opposition to act as an independent faction, just days before a crucial parliamentary debate is set to take place.

A brief letter issued by the party said the party’s executive committee has decided that it wants to “work freely” under its own direction. The departure left the opposition bloc with six fewer MPs when the lower house convenes for a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister, which is estimated to take place in early February.

The letter was signed by party leader Suppadit Arkatruerk, who was not available to comment as of publication time.

During the party’s electoral campaign last year, then-party leader Mingkwan Sangsuwan repeatedly told the public that the party will not join hands with the coalition supporting PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

A senior opposition lawmaker said the New Economics’ shift of allegiance is not unexpected. Future Forward Party deputy leader Chamnan Chanruang said New Economy MPs have been voting independently of the opposition for some time now.

“They have been doing that for a while now. We knew about it for a while. We didn’t even invite them to opposition meetings this month,” Chamnan said.