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Election

Forming the next Thai government – Bhumjaithai and Democrats will decide

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Forming the next Thai government – Bhumjaithai and Democrats will decide | The Thaiger

The result of who becomes the next government won’t come down to Palang Pracharat, Pheu Thai or even Future Forward. The horse-trading, that has been ongoing since the first results emerged after the March 24 election, has come down to some very simple maths.

The ‘swinging’ Bhumjaithai Party. Their votes will sweep either Pheu Thai or the Junta-in-civilian-clothing, Palang Pracharat, to power. They are the most likely of the ‘non committed’ parties to fall behind the anti-Junta gang although they are playing their cards very close to their chest right now.

The anti-junta bloc currently falls short of MPs required to form a government after its seat count fell from 255 to 245 under the Election Commission’s controversial party-list calculation method. But pro-democracy figures remain optimistic, as they believe not all the seats from the remaining 20 winning parties will necessarily go to Phalang Pracharat.

Pheu Thai Party secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai yesterday tweeted that the pro-junta camp had only secured 138 seats in the lower house so far against the opposition bloc’s 245 seats.

The undecided faction comprising Democrat, Bhumjaithai, Chartthaipattana and Chartpattana parties now accounted for 116 MPs, he added.

“It’s the Thai people’s duty to press this faction to make a decision,” the anti-junta politician said. “The country is in your hands. Don’t let anyone destroy it.”

The group Phumtham called the undecided faction, however, is viewed as leaning towards the pro-regime camp.

Earlier in the week it was reported that the Democrats and Bhumjaithai have been offered six spots each in the Cabinet by a buoyant Palang Pracharat, following the latest announcements about Party-list seats.

Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul dismissed the rumours yesterday, writing on Facebook that there had been neither talks on setting up a government nor negotiations over Cabinet seats.

“Bhumjaithai is listening to the voice of the people,” Anutin wrote.

A Democrat Party source also denied having negotiated with the pro-regime bloc, saying talks could be conducted after next Wednesday when the party chooses its new leader.

Political analyst Anusorn Unno, dean of the Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology at Thammasat University says that with the dust still not settled from the election results there were still possibilities for the anti-junta camp to beat its rival to form the government.

“It’s at the negotiation stage right now,” he said.

“It is unclear how many or which parties will support the |current regime. They only have three parties now with only some 120 MPs.”

While many doubt that Bhumjaithai would join the anti-junta camp, Anusorn reckons anything is possible since party leader Anutin had said the decision had yet to be made.

SOURCE: The Nation

Election

Palang Pracharat are warned not to renege on Thai ministry promises

The Thaiger

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Palang Pracharat are warned not to renege on Thai ministry promises | The Thaiger

Amidst rumours circulating that the Palang Pracharat Party may renege on some of the promises it made to secure MP votes from the Democrats and Bhumjaithai, the Democrat party leader Jurin Laksanavisit says he believes the Palang Pracharat party will keep its promises.

Thepthai Senpong MP, a key Democrat party member, is warning that the coalition government will be in big trouble if the promise is broken. He says the coalition government would “function with great difficulty” if the Palang Pracharat party does not stick to the promises it made to the Democrats, according to Thai PBS.

Meanwhile, Somsak Thepsutin, one of the Sam Mitr faction within Palang Pracharat, says that if one of their group isn’t offered the agriculture minister’s post (reportedly offered to the Democrats as part of the ‘deal’), the promises they made with Thai voters during the election campaign could be affected.

Somsak has already spoken of his aspirations to become the next agriculture minister, despite the portfolio being used as a political football during negotiations with the Democrats.

But the new leader of the Democrats, Jurin Laksanavisit insists that the issue of the quota of ministries for his MPs has already been settled. He re-iterated yesterday that Palang Pracharat would not go back on its promises to the Democrats. He added that he had not been informed of any changes to their arrangements despite being aware of the media reports about the prevarication.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | The Nation

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Election

Palang Pracharat still quibbling over portfolios in the new Thai parliament

The Thaiger

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Palang Pracharat still quibbling over portfolios in the new Thai parliament | The Thaiger

Election – check. Vote for PM – check. New government sworn in – not quite yet.

There is still a reported back-room fight over cabinet portfolios between factions in the Palang Pracharat Party. Several key ministries were offered to Bhumjaithai and Democrat MPs in return for voting for Prayut Chan-o-cha as PM on Wednesday.

Now that Prayut’s been installed back behind the big desk at government house, there have been sources reporting wrangling and possible back-tracking over the promises made preceding the parliamentary vote on Wednesday.

  • The Democrats were promised the agriculture, commerce and social development ministries while the Bhumjaithai were reportedly offered the Transport Ministry post.
  • Palang Pracharat MPs claim that, as the leading party in the coalition, it should control key ministries to follow through on its election promises.
  • PPRP list MP Somsak Thepsuthin, a leading figure of the “Sam Mitr” faction in Palang Pracharat, claims the party needs control of the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry and that PM Prayut will have a final say on the matter (a notion that was flatly denied by the PPRP last week).
  • Palang Pracharat MP Buddhipongse Punnakanta admits the quota of cabinet posts for coalition parties “might” change but didn’t detail any of the Cabinet position affected, including the position of agriculture minister.
  • Newly elected House Speaker Chuan Leekpai, a former Democrat PM, waded into the issue yesterday saying he was sure that Palang Pracharat would honour the promises made in regards to Cabinet posts offered to the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties.
  • Democrat leader Jurin Laksanavisit says the deal with the PPRP was singed and sealed and believes it would be honoured.
  • Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charvirakul says the agreement with the PPRP remains unchanged, and insisted the party will push for its election pledges to be implemented.
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Election

“We were robbed of victory” – Future Forward’s Thanathorn

The Thaiger

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“We were robbed of victory” – Future Forward’s Thanathorn | The Thaiger

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the 40 year old Future Forward leader who was up against Prayut Chan-o-cha for the position of PM yesterday, says that the pro-democracy alliance hasn’t conceded defeat but, he says, were “robbed of their victory”.

He is vowing to work harder outside parliament to prove that to the people.

“This election is just one battle in the long journey to achieve democracy. We fiercely believe that, in the end, our day will come. Dictatorship cannot resist the winds of change, the winds of democracy. The people will cry for freedom, cry for justice.”

Thanathorn was nominated by the Pheu Thai-led alliance as their sole PM candidate for yesterday’s vote, admitted that he had little hope that both the Democrat and the Bhumjaithai parties would make the “right decision”. Without their vote the Pheu Thai alliance wouldn’t have a majority in the lower house to make a stand (even though the Senate’s votes – 250 – would have carried Prayut Chan-o-cha over the finish line anyway). As it was he only missed winning the vote in the lower house by a handful of votes.

Thai PBS reports that, despite the election defeat, the firebrand young politician pleaded with all democracy advocates not to lose hope, but to move forward with him.

“I would like to tell my brothers and sisters that this is not our end, it is just the beginning,” he said, adding that the election result was a proof that they did not work hard enough and must strive harder.

“Future Forward party would divide its work and resources into three main areas; its MPs will undertake legislative work and check the performance of the government, the party will prepare for the forthcoming local elections and strengthen the party.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS

“We were robbed of victory” - Future Forward's Thanathorn | News by The Thaiger

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