The Future Forward Party (FFP) plans to field local election candidates in up to 20 provinces as part of its strategy to expand its reach beyond Parliament.
Party leader Thanathorn Jungroongruangkit said on Saturday the party will field candidates in elections for municipalities or tambons and provincial administration organisations in 15-20 provinces around the country.
After stunning results in the March 24th general election, in which FFP won 81 seats despite fielding a slate of 100% first-time candidates, the party is now setting its sights on local polls.
With its limited capacity, Mr Thanathorn admitted it was impossible to field candidates to run in all 77 provinces. The party will select between 15 and 20 provinces which have the potential to garner victory, he said, adding the party hopes to achieve an upset to emulate its success in the general election.
The Future Forward Party will shake up local elections,” he told supporters in a forum at Thammasat University’s main campus marking the first anniversary of the party’s founding.
FFP has previously announced its intention to take part in local elections, but Saturday’s announcement was the first time the party disclosed the number and type of local elections it planned to contest.
Local elections are part of what Mr Thanathorn has described as a “three-pillar strategy” to boost Future Forward’s popularity. The other two are its role in Parliament and grassroots political activities such as holding holding forums and canvassing.
The party’s MPs will file a motion to amend the Constitution to curb the roles of senators and propose laws to address the problems of its voters. Mr Thanakorn will take the lead in canvassing to increase party membership and support outside Parliament while he is suspended from his MP duties.
The dates of local elections, including for a new governor of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, have yet to be announced. The party expects the elections to be held in late September or early October. Mr. Thanathorn did not specify whether Bangkok will be one of the party’s targets.
National parties often do not pay attention to local elections as they are focused on national politics, leaving them to local parties, former MPs and local politicians with family connections to MPs. “We will end family business in local politics,” he said.