Bhumjaithai and Democrats holding off decision for key roles

PHOTO: The horse-trading continues

Nearly two months after the March 24 election and still no government formalised. The horse-trading has been fast and furious with rumours and speculation running rife over recent days. It is thought that some announcements will be made today or tomorrow in the lead up to the opening of parliament on Friday.

But it’s certainly coming down to key decisions from the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties although, up to yesterday, they had still made no internal final decisions which bloc they would join, although it’s understood they are both leaning towards the pro-Junta camp.

The Democrats met for the first time yesterday under new leader Jurin Laksanavisit, but a decision on its post-election stance was not even on the agenda.

“We’ll meet again to discuss which bloc we are going to or not going to join,” said Jurin, who was voted in as party leader last week.

“The party has its principles and its people-oriented ideology. The members will meet and we will talk about the direction of our work in Parliament.”

Bhumjaithai also did not clarify its position yesterday. The party’s secretary-general Saksiam Chidchob said during an orientation session for MPs and a party meeting in Buri Ram province yesterday, that the responsibility had been vested in party leader Anutin Charnvirakul.

He added that the party had four core conditions: reverence for the monarchy, peace, implementation of the party’s proposals, and stability of the government.

Saksiam said none of the parties had approached Bhumjaithai yet, but Anutin will hold meetings with different parties in the next couple of days before making a decision on which bloc to join.

Observers put this uncertainty down to unfinished horse-trading and jockeying for key positions and cabinet posts.

The likelihood of both Democrat and Bhumjaithai backing the Phalang Pracharat-led coalition appears to be accentuated by the pro-democracy camp’s desperation. Pheu Thai have even offered to sacrifice the PM’s post, despite having the most number of MPs in Parliament, to gain support from the two parties.

Sources said dissatisfaction with the seats being offered was the only factor preventing Democrat and Bhumjaithai from announcing their pro-junta stance.

The two parties reportedly are not satisfied as most of the key ministries are being handed over to Phalang Pracharat figures.

It is believed that the Democrat Party will be offered the post of speaker of the lower house while Bhumjaithai is expected to get the post of second deputy speaker.

Separately, Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit’s fate in politics hangs by a thread despite his party’s successful debut.

The Constitutional Court will on Thursday discuss whether he should be disqualified for allegedly holding shares in a media company. If found guilty, Thanathorn can be banned from elections for 20 years and jailed for one to 10 years.

SOURCE: The Nation

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