FRIDAY, April 19, 2024

Srettha rules out bringing Democrats into coalition

Srettha rules out bringing Democrats  into coalition

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on Tuesday that reports he was planning to bring in the opposition Democrat Party to bolster the ruling coalition’s strength were just rumours, as the government already has strong support in Parliament with 314 MPs.

“I’ve never talked abut it. I used to say 314 MPs give us enough strength,” Srettha said.

“We, the coalition partners, have unity and we can talk with good understanding, and we are closely working together.”

Earlier on Tuesday, several news websites quoted a source as saying that Srettha would reshuffle his Cabinet in June and would also bring in the 25 Democrat MPs to bolster the coalition’s strength in Parliament.

Political observers have suggested that the reports might be the work of someone senior in the Pheu Thai party who might be in charge of dirty tactics, and the rumours might be intended to prompt the Democrats to tone down attacks against the government during the general debate on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Rumours are rumors,” Srettha replied when reporters asked him to confirm the reports.

He said the Cabinet discussed only speeding up disbursement of the fiscal 2024 budget and did not touch on a Cabinet reshuffle.

Srettha insisted that the quotas allocated to existing coalition partners would not be changed.

Asked whether his meeting with his deputies at Government House on Monday touched on a Cabinet reshuffle, Srettha said the meeting was for discussing free-trade agreements and issues related to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, and Agriculture Minister Thamanat Prompow.

“I hereby affirm we didn’t talk about a Cabinet reshuffle at all,” Srettha said.