Anutin and Prawit reach deal for coalition govt and PM candidate: source


Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul lunched with Palang Pracharath (PPRP) Party leader General Prawit Wongsuwan at the Five Provinces Forest Foundation in Bangkok for the second time in a week on Wednesday, a source revealed.

The source said the talks, which lasted about one and a half hours, focused on a deal to form a coalition government after the May 14 election.

Also at the luncheon were Bhumjaithai’s secretary-general Saksayam Chidchob and deputy leader Chada Thaiseth, while PPRP party executives in attendance included secretary-general Santi Promphat and deputy leader Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn.

Each party estimates it will win 70 MP seats, totalling 140 seats in the House.

PPRP and Bhumjaithai reportedly plan to ally with the Chartthaipattana and Democrat parties, which would give them an estimated 203 MP seats out of the total 400 – enough to form a government.

The source said Prawit agreed that the PM candidate should come from the party that has most MP seats in this coalition, which could be either him or Anutin. When hearing this, Anutin is reported to have said with a smile, “If you want you can take it.”

The two sides at the lunch meeting also estimated that their major rival Pheu Thai would win a maximum of 170 MP seats at the election.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha dissolved the House of Representatives on Monday, prompting the Election Commission to announce the general election will be held on May 14.

Prayut left the PPRP in January to join the newly formed United Thai Nation Party and compete against his former brother-in-arms Prawit for the position of prime minister.