Thailand’s Democrats deny seeking to join Move Forward Party-led coalition

Prominent members of Thailand‘s Democrat Party dismissed claims that they are considering joining the coalition led by the Move Forward Party (MFP). These rumours emerged on Thursday night after the formation of a 10-party alliance, suggesting that a group of winning Democrat candidates close to acting party secretary-general Chalermchai Sri-on were seeking to approach the MFP and Pheu Thai to join the coalition. Det-it Khaothong and Chaichana Dejdecho, who won House seats in Songkhla and Nakhon Si Thammarat, were reportedly leading the move.

Chaichana Dejdecho refuted the reports, stating they were entirely false and may have been released to gauge Democrat opinions after some parties had declared their stance. He affirmed the party’s commitment to not supporting the abolition of the lese majeste law, not tolerating corruption, and not allowing the uncontrolled use of cannabis.

However, he noted that the party’s future would be decided after a new party executive is elected and the election winners are endorsed by the Election Commission, Bangkok Post reported.

Jurin Laksanawisit, who promised to resign if the party won less than 25 seats, announced his departure before the party reached that target late on Sunday evening. The Democrats secured just 22 seats from the constituencies and three more from the list system, according to the unofficial result.

Acting Democrat deputy leader Alongkorn Ponlaboot urged media outlets to verify reports, particularly those with unnamed sources, as they could be used to discredit the party. He said…

“The party is ready to be in the opposition and scrutinise the work of the MFP-led government. We want to reaffirm our stance that we disagree with amending Sections 1-2 of the constitution and the lese majeste law.”

Sombat Yasin, a Democrat candidate who won in Mae Song Hon, expressed doubt that the party would join the MFP-led coalition due to the MFP’s highly controversial policies.

However, he did not rule out the possibility of the party working with Pheu Thai if the MFP failed to establish a government and Pheu Thai formed its own alliance. Sombat Yasin emphasised that Pheu Thai must leave the lese majeste law untouched for the Democrats to consider joining its coalition. He added…

“I’ve talked to Chalermchai Sri-on, and he shares the same opinions. We don’t agree with the MFP. But if the lead party in the coalition changes to reduce political divisiveness without touching the lese majeste law, we think it’s acceptable.”

Politics NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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