The Move Forward Party (MFP) has insisted the post of House Speaker should be filled by the MFP amid reports that its prospective coalition partner Pheu Thai wants it.
Citing secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon, MFP spokesman Rangsiman Rome said that by tradition, the election winner will take the House Speaker’s chair to handle its agenda, and the MFP wishes to continue with the tradition.
Mr Rangsiman declined to say if any prospective coalition partners are negotiating for the post, saying the issue should be addressed by Mr Chaithawat, who is in charge of coalition talks. When asked if MFP deputy leader Nattawut Buaprathum is a candidate for the House speakership, Mr Rangsiman said the party has yet to discuss who is qualified.
The House Speaker is one of the most important roles in politics, overseeing House meetings and the agenda. If the MFP wants to push its legislative initiatives and fulfil its campaign promises, it needs to take control of the post.
The MFP on Wednesday posted on its Facebook three agendas it plans to push ahead, saying the party seeks to assume the House Speaker’s role to drive these initiatives. These include a set of 45 draft laws the party promised in its election campaign, including a charter rewrite — which is part of the MoU — and an “open parliament” to promote transparency and public participation.
Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew on Wednesday criticised remarks by Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, secretary-general of the Progressive Movement and the MFP’s election campaign assistant, which he said were an attempt to pressure prospective coalition partners.
On Tuesday night, Mr Piyabutr posted on Facebook about “the House speakership: the post the MFP can’t afford to lose”. He said compromises are desirable in coalition government, but the MFP should not consider giving the House speakership away.
Dr Cholnan declined to comment on MFP’s potential candidates. The party is widely seen as lacking experience. A source in the Pheu Thai Party said Pheu Thai is negotiating over the House Speaker’s post because the MFP’s candidates are unlikely to be accepted. Pheu Thai was considering Dr Cholnan, Suchart Tancharoen and Wisut Chainaroon for the post.