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Democrats decide today if they’ll walk away from Palang Pracharat coalition

Tanutam Thawan

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PHOTO: Thai PBS

A meeting of Democrat MPs today will either re-enforce the loose coalition with Palang Pracharat or walk away from the arrangement. If either the Democrats or Bhumjaithai walk away from the coalition it will leave the government in minority in the new parliament.

Palang Pracharat have made it openly clear over the weekend they want to reclaim a number of key portfolios that it promised to its coalition partners as part of a deal to secure their votes for their prime ministerial candidate last Wednesday. But once the vote was over and Prayut Chan-o-cha elected to the PM position, rumbles emerged from factions within Palang Pracharat that said they wanted the ministries back.

But rather than discussing if they are going to hand back the posts to Palang Pracharat, the meeting is to name the best people in their party to take over the positions of Minister for Agriculture and Commerce.

The Democrats had been promised the agriculture, commerce and social development ministries in the deal. Meanwhile the Bhumjaithai Party looked set to secure the Transport Ministry.

The rumblings from inside Palang Pracharat are from the ‘Sam Mitr’ (Three Allies) faction who have been adamant that they needed to take back the posts that the party had promised its coalition partners. They said the Democrats and Bhumjaithai could be offered junior ministries instead.

A Democrat source has told the media that Palang Pracharat had agreed to hand a deputy PM post as well as three cabinet seats – agriculture, commerce and social development – to the party as part of the deal last Tuesday to secure the Democrats and Bhumjaithai votes for the new PM. Bhumjaithai, all along, said they would side with the Democrats, whichever way they decided, and also voted for Prayut as prime minister having being offered the Transport portfolio.

 

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