Pheu Thai says it must include Prayut and Prawit’s parties in govt coalition
Pheu Thai deputy leader Phumtham Wechayachai said on Friday that the party would eventually have to include two political parties linked to former junta leaders in its coalition government in the making.
Asked if the Pheu Thai-led government would need the Palang Pracharath and United Thai Nation parties to ensure stability, Phumtham said: “The political math is clear. It’s a must, and the game is forcing us to take this path.”
He added that Pheu Thai is aware it has to “pay a high price” for taking this path.
Palang Pracharath is led by caretaker Deputy PM General Prawit Wongsuwan while United Thai Nation fielded caretaker Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha as its prime ministerial candidate although he recently announced his retirement from politics. Both retired generals were leading figures in the post-coup junta that ruled the country between 2014 and 2019.
The junta appointed all 250 Senate members, who are empowered by the Constitution to select a prime minister alongside the 500 members of the House of Representatives.
In the run-up to the May 14 general election, Pheu Thai told its supporters that it would not work with “the parties of the two uncles”, referring to Prayut and Prawit.
Majority support from both Houses of Parliament, at least 376 votes, is required for a PM candidate to secure the top job.
Phumtham on Friday thanked Palang Pracharath MP Pai Leeke for saying on Thursday that all of his party's MPs would vote for Pheu Thai’s PM candidate without conditions.
“We are pleased with everyone’s support to help build a stable government. We need reconciliation and we must adhere to the public interest,” he said.
Phumtham said Pheu Thai has yet to discuss a possible alliance with United Thai Nation but it welcomes the party’s support for its PM candidate.
He said Pheu Thai would nominate Srettha Thavisin, one of the party’s three PM candidates, in Parliament next week unless the vote is suspended by the Constitutional Court.
“If things go as expected, October may see a new government formed and policies formulated,” Phumtham said.