Bhumjaithai comes on board to form government as Pheu Thai accepts its conditions


The Pheu Thai Party and Bhumjaithai Party on Monday evening announced progress in forming a new coalition government.

Pheu Thai leader Cholanan Srikaew and outgoing Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul held a press conference at the Pheu Thai headquarters at 4pm.

After their initial discussions two weeks ago, Bhumjaithai has responded positively to the invitation to form a government with Pheu Thai, they told the press.

Anutin said that Bhumjaithai had agreed to join hands in forming a government with Pheu Thai based on three principles: no interfering with Article 112 (lese majeste law); it will not be a minority government led by Pheu Thai; and, Move Forward Party should not be a part of the government. Pheu Thai officially informed Bhumjaithai on Monday that the two parties have found common ground on the three principles.

The two parties have 212 votes in the lower House — Pheu Thai with 141 MPs and Bhumjaithai with 71. However, if invitations are extended to other parties, decisions will be made at the discretion of Pheu Thai.

"At the moment, we have been informed by Pheu Thai that the formation of the government would definitely enjoy the support of more than half of the 500 seats, following the democratic and parliamentary process,” Anutin said.

“We will work together to gain support from both MPs and senators to ensure that everything proceeds according to the constitutional process for the benefit of the people and the country. As for the prime minister candidate, Bhumjaithai will follow Pheu Thai's proposal and present a candidate who can be approved by the members of parliament, as confirmed by Pheu Thai," he added.

Cholanan expressed gratitude to Bhumjaithai for accepting the invitation to join hands in forming the government and cooperating in solving the issues for the benefit of the people.

He said Pheu Thai had agreed to all three conditions proposed by Bhumjaithai, and together they would have 212 votes.

The joint statement between Pheu Thai and Bhumjaithai said that they would form a coalition government with the support of various parties, which currently accounts for more than half of the votes. However, they intend to seek support from all parties in Parliament.

Delays in the formation of the government would only cause further harm, and the sooner the government is formed, the faster they can address the problems, Cholanan said.

He added that in the following week, Pheu Thai would be talking to all the parties joining the government coalition.

As for the party’s promises on holding a referendum for a new constitution, Cholanan said that it would take about two years.