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Pro-junta bloc says they have a ‘deal’ with Democrats and Bhumjaithai

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PHOTO: Bhumjaithai party leader Anutin Charnvirakul slated to be the new Health Minister

The week kicks off with rumours swirling about deals done over the weekend. Meanwhile HM The King will open Parliament on May 24. ‘Who’ will set ‘where’ will be interesting.

The Pro-Junta proxy party, Phalang Pracharat Party, is taking the upper PR hand and claims to have successfully cobbled together a coalition tp form the new government with the participation of the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties.

According to the latest scuttlebutt from the rumour mill, PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha will again head the post-election administration, with many members of his current post-coup Cabinet joining him – General Prawit Wongsuwan, General Anupong Paochinda, Somkid Jatusripitak and Wissanu Krea-ngam, according to the source, who spoke to The Nation on condition of anonymity.

However, it remained unclear if Prayut would also double as defence minister or allow Prawit to assume the post again in addition to the deputy PM’s post.

Phalang Pracharath will get at least 16 Cabinet seats and the Democrats and Bhumjaithai would get seven each, the source said, adding that these numbers were based on an agreed quota of one Cabinet seat for seven MPs.

In the March 24 general election, Phalang Pracharath won 115 MP seats, the Democrats 52 and Bhumjaithai 51.

According to the source, the Democrat Party will also get deputy ministers for Interior, Finance and Education.

Bhumjaithai has successfully bargained for the seats of Public Health minister and Digital Economy and Society minister, in addition to deputy minister seats in the ministries of Transport, Interior and Commerce, the source said.

The party’s leader, Anutin Charnvirakul, is expected to become the new Public Health minister to push for its policy platform of more broadly legalising marijuana in Thailand.

Meanwhile, political parties in the “democratic camp” still have not given up hope of forming a new coalition government despite claims by the rival pro-junta camp of their success, Pheu Thai secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai said yesterday.

The confidence was expressed as both Pheu Thai and Phalang Pracharat were heavily lobbying for support from smaller parties.

Phumtham said all the parties in the group, that he called the “democratic camp”, remained firm about going ahead with forming a new government.

He said his coalition had the main goal of “preventing the country reaching a dead end and stopping the continuation of power” by the ruling National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) through General Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is the sole prime ministerial candidate for Phalang Pracharath.

“The parties in the democratic camp still have not stopped today. For us, the journey is not complete,” Phumtham said in his Facebook post.

“All the parties in the camp are still determined; we have exchanged views with all sides and we see hopes from the dialogue. I can tell you that there is progress in our work,” he said.

SOURCE: The Nation

 

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