Sudarat urges Move Forward, Pheu Thai to end standoff over House speaker


Thai Sang Thai Party leader Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan on Thursday called on the Move Forward and the Pheu Thai parties to settle their differences on the post of House speaker before the next House convenes its first meeting.

Sudarat said she feared that if the two parties did not resolve their differences, and allowed their MPs to vote freely, it could jeopardise the formation of the next coalition government.

Move Forward and Pheu Thai have been locked in a battle for the post of House speaker. Pheu Thai, which has won 141 MPs, argues that Move Forward with 151 House seats did not score a clear victory in the election, therefore it should share the top legislative post with its key partner.

Move Forward, Pheu Thai and Thai Sang Thai have agreed in principle to form a coalition of 312 MPs with five other parties.

After the Election Commission endorses up to 95% of victories of election winners, the House of Representatives will convene its first meeting to elect the House speaker.

Sudarat said that normally the parties finishing first and second in the elections would be on different sides and hence they would compete against each other for the post of House speaker.

She said this time the two top parties are on the same side, so they should settle their differences before the first House meeting.

“Free voting for the House speaker could jeopardise the forming of a coalition government because the vote for the House speaker will precede the coalition formation,” Sudarat said.

She said the party that wants the House speaker post must make sure that its choice is capable of controlling meetings as the person holding the post will also become the Parliament president.

On the proposal by a senator for a national unity government, Sudarat said she disagreed because people have cast their votes in line with the democratic system. She said the people’s voices expressed through their votes should be respected.