Srettha downplays differences over speaker, says coalition still united


Pheu Thai Party prime minister candidate Srettha Thavisin insisted on Wednesday that his party and the Move Forward Party remained united to support Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat as the next prime minister.

Srettha affirmed the unity of the two largest parties in the lower House after they abruptly cancelled talks on Wednesday on the post of House speaker. The talks were postponed indefinitely after Move Forward insisted it must get the House speaker’s post, while Pheu Thai was also adamant in its claims for the post.

Srettha said he believed the talks would go on as there were still a few more days before the House would sit and elect the House speaker on July 4.

“Pheu Thai and Move Forward will still hold hands firmly. Nothing will stop the democratic side from setting up the government,” Srettha said.

Srettha downplays differences over speaker, says coalition still united Srettha said he thought the postponement of talks between the eight partners had nothing to do with squabbling over the House speaker’s post.

“The postponement of the meeting of eight parties was not caused by fighting over posts because the competition ended on May 14,” Srettha said.

Asked whether Pheu Thai’s fight for the post of House speaker could lead changes in the coalition, Srettha replied: “There will be no changes because Pheu Thai and Move Forward are still holding hands firmly until the next government is formed.”

He said that in his view, Move Forward had simply expressed its stand that it wanted the House speaker’s post, but negotiations could still go on and this would not pose an obstacle to government formation.

“And I believe Pita will definitely be elected as the next prime minister,” Srettha said.

Srettha downplays differences over speaker, says coalition still united Meanwhile, Thai Sang Thai Party leader Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan called on Move Forward and Pheu Thai to settle their dispute over the House speaker’s post so that they would not fail the expectations of voters, who had elected the two parties. Sudarat’s party is among the eight partners of the Move Forward-led coalition.

“I would like them to take into account the public expectations. The people have placed their hopes on the new government of the democratic side so that they will have a better life and economic conditions,” Sudarat said in her Twitter message.

“So, straightforward talk between the two coalition leaders based on sacrifice for public interest is very important now. Please don’t fail the people,” she said.

Sudarat said she would like to lend her moral support to Pheu Thai and Move Forward to reach an agreement for the sake of the people.