Move forward, lese divide: Thai election winner MFP sparks coalition clash over lese majeste law revision

The MFP's leader Pita Limjaroenrat, and the Pheu Thai Party's leader, Conlanan Srikaew | Photo by Sakchai Lalit via AP

Thai General Election winner the Move Forward Party (MFP) is refusing to abandon its ideology, insisting it will revise the lese majeste law, leading to a division among the Pheu Thai Party and the eight coalition parties. As a consequence, the Pheu Thai Party insisted that they cannot work with the MFP and announced they will form a government with other parties despite finishing second in the General Election.

After the 2023 General Election, eight political parties entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU), encompassing 23 key principles to govern the country. These parties included the MFP, Pheu Thai Party, Thai Sang Thai Party, Prachachart Party, Seree Ruam Thai Party, Pheu Thai Ruam Palang Party, Fair Party, and Plung Sungkom Mai Party.

The aligned parties twice proposed Pita Limjaroenrat, the MFP’s leader, as the prime ministerial candidate. However, Pita could not secure enough votes from other MPs and the Senate as they disagreed on the MFP’s intention to revise Section 112 of the Criminal Law, also known as the lese majeste law.

The MFP then stepped back and allowed the Pheu Thai Party to choose a prime minister from its ranks and lead the eight aligned parties to form a government.

Surprisingly, Pheu Thai Party revealed the fickle and somewhat disingenuous nature of Thai politics when they began engaging in discussions with parties of opposing ideologies, such as the Bhumjaithai Party, Ruam Thai Sang Chart, and Palang Pracharath.

To address the situation, the MFP and Pheu Thai Party convened a meeting at 9.30am today to discuss the direction of the government formation.

During the meeting, the Pheu Thai Party insisted that the MFP must abandon its plans to revise the lese majeste law, citing concerns from the other parties and senators. The Pheu Thai Party expressed their concerns that the senators will not vote for their PM candidate, Srettha Thavisin, if the MFP did not abandon its lese majeste law revision.

The MFP refused and expressed the party’s commitment to its manifesto and its promise to the voters.

Consequently, the Pheu Thai Party decided to withdraw from the coalition and shun the MFP in the formation of a new government.

An official announcement from the Pheu Thai Party stated that…

“The Pheu Thai Party and Srettha Thavisin insist that we will never support a lese majeste law revision, and the MFP will not be included in the formation of a government. The Pheu Thai Party will gather enough votes to form the government, and the MFP will work as an opposition party. The MFP will work and be a new dimension in Thai politics.”

The announcement also stated the two main objectives that the Pheu Thai Party planned to focus on, including a revision of the constitution and other policies like the Progressive Liquor Act, same-sex marriage, armed force reformation, and others that the party agreed with the former aligned parties.”

Following the Pheu Thai Party’s decision, some protestors convened in a car park at Asok Intersection in Bangkok at 11am today. The protestors urged the eight parties to remain united and prevent any party from becoming the sole opposition party. Additionally, the protest suggested that the parties wait for ten months until the senators complete their terms and initiate the process of selecting a new PM.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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