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Democrats side with Palang Pracharat before today’s PM vote

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PHOTO: Thai PBS

The Democrat party has decided, following a fierce debate late yesterday, to join the Palang Pracharat-led coalition government. They cite ‘ending political uncertainty’ and ‘switching off’ the power of the junta, according to new party leader Jurin Laksanavisit.

As the new parliament sits and votes on a new Thai PM today, the NCPO automatically dissolves once the new government has been given royal assent.

39 executive committee members and 53 MPs, split between those who want to join the coalition and those who want to form an independent opposition, the party took a secret ballot in which 61 voted in favour of joining the coalition and 16 opposed, with two abstentions and one invalid vote.

Former Democrat party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva spent about an hour trying to swing the vote into forming an independent opposition. But, when it came to the vote, the idea was defeated in favour of joining the coalition.

The other potential coalition partner, the Bhumjaithai party, which has been waiting for the Democrat party’s decision, said they will follow in the Democrats’ footsteps.

Democrat party leader Jurin Laksanavisit told a news conference after the meeting that the Palang Pracharat party had accepted the Democrat’s pre-conditions relating to poverty eradication policy, price guarantees for farm produce, constitutional amendments and good governance.

Immediately after last night’s vote, one party member, former election commissioner Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, quit the party citing ‘ideological differences’.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

 

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