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Puea Pandin defers decision

Party believes it could win 10 more seats after by-elections are held

Published on January 7, 2008

The Puea Pandin Party yesterday said it would wait until by-election results are tallied before deciding whether to join a People Power Party-led coalition.

Spokesman Wachiramon Kunakasemthanawat said his party hoped to win at least 10 more House seats in by-elections following an expected disqualification of some candidates by the Election Commission for breaking voting rules.

So far, the EC has disqualified seven PPP candidates and has scheduled a number of by-elections on January 13. The EC is still considering whether to take action against many other candidates as a result of complaints.

Wachiramon said his party hoped to win in these by-elections because its candidates had trailed closely behind the disqualified winners.

The spokesman said the party would not make a decision on whether to join the coalition until the official results are announced.

He said core members, including party leader Suwit Khunkitti, party chairman Vatana Asavahame and deputy leader Pracha Promnok, had yet to discuss the party's stance regarding a PPP-coalition because they are occupied by the sad events following the death of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana.

There are several more days of mourning countrywide as people pay respects to the late sister of His Majesty the King.

The spokesman said Puea Pandin would not change its position yet, although Chart Thai Party may have already decided to join the coalition.

As Puea Pandin is assuming a coalition has already been formed, the party does not believe its final decision will make a big impact on the political situation, he added.

Although the EC is still investigating fraud complaints against 65 PPP winning candidates and may disqualify some, Matchima Thipataya Party said yesterday that the EC's decision would not affect its decision to join a PPP-led coalition.

"Matchima Thipataya affirms its decision to support PPP to set up a coalition [government]," its deputy leader Banyin Tangphaporn said yesterday.

Banyin said the party would honour its promise to join the coalition, no matter what the EC decides.

He believed Chart Thai and Puea Pandin would eventually be part of a PPP coalition.

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