No word on inclusion of Bhumjaithai Party
The Pheu Thai Party on Monday congratulated the Move Forward Party (MFP) on its election victory and accepted its proposal to form a coalition government with five other parties.
Pheu Thai key figures, led by leader Cholnan Srikaew and prime minister candidates Srettha Thavisin and Paetongtarn Shinawatra, attended a press conference to announce the party’s stance after MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat proposed the six-party alliance, which would command 310 seats in the House.
At the briefing, Pheu Thai also said that it has no plans to compete with the MFP, which gained the largest number of House seats in Sunday’s polls, to form a new government.
“[Pheu Thai] accepts the fact that the MFP will lead the formation of the new government and further agrees with the invitation it has extended to parties from democratic alliances to join the new government.
“The party is of the opinion that the issues and process relating to the formation of the new government are for the MFP to decide,” according to a statement released by Pheu Thai.
When asked if the party would back Mr Pita as the prime minister, Ms Paetongtarn said Pheu Thai would accept the people’s decision.
She affirmed the party’s stance against abolishing the lese majeste law, saying it is not against discussing the law in the House.
When asked if her father, fugitive ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra would return home as planned, she said there would be no changes to the plan unless announced otherwise. However, she insisted her father’s planned return to Thailand had nothing to do with the party.
Shortly before the election, Thaksin had tweeted that he wanted to return home before July 26, his 74th birthday, to care for his grandchildren. He tweeted a similar message on May 1.
Dr Cholnan said details about the government formation would be handled by the party executives and that he had no idea how long the talks would take. He declined to discuss Pheu Thai’s conditions at this stage.
He said the party was not in the position to say if the Bhumjaithai Party would be a part of the coalition.
Wanwichit Boonprong, a political science lecturer at Rangsit University, said the MFP-Pheu Thai-Bhumjaithai coalition would be the best option to defeat the 250-member Senate in the prime minister selection vote, which requires the support of at least 376 lawmakers.