The Thai electoral commission is proposing 22 October for the new election. Any date over 90 days out will resolve the problem of the constitutional prohibition on candidates running for parties that they were not members of more than 90 days before the election. Many members of incumbent (and now caretaker) Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s TRT party would then be expected to defect to other parties.
This could be the key to resolving the “mess” in that it would weaken TRT and thus allow for an alternative majority party or coalition to emerge. Part of the underlying source of the mess is that the electoral reform worked too well. The adoption of the mixed-member majoritarian electoral system was meant to generate single-party majorities and nationalize party leadership. Well, it did!!
While no one would want Thailand to return to its previous situation of extreme fragmentation–both in terms of the number of parties and their lack of cohesion–somewhere between the recent situation and the former one there lies a happier (or at least less messy) medium
Meanwhile, the above-linked story also notes that Thaksin might be the no. 1 candidate on the TRT national party list, raising the possibility that he might renege on his earlier pledge not to remain head of the party or seek to be PM again.