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Election

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

The Thaiger & The Nation

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

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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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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