Pheu Thai Party Excludes MFP From New Coalition Formation

The runner-up in the May 14 general election, the Pheu Thai Party, has decided to abandon the election victor, the Move Forward Party (MFP).

This is due to the MFP’s persistence in revising the lese majeste law, causing Pheu Thai to instead pursue the formation of its independent coalition government.

Pheu Thai leader, Cholnan Srikaew, revealed this move on a Wednesday afternoon.

Both parties were the primary components in an eight-party alliance led by the MFP, aiming to establish a new government.

The MFP held 151 seats in the House, while Pheu Thai had 141, summing to a collective 312 out of 500 House seats within their partnership.

However, following its unsuccessful attempt to secure a majority vote in the joint House and Senate assembly after proposing its leader Pita Limjaroenrat as the prime minister on July 13, the MFP handed over the reins to Pheu Thai to lead the formation of a coalition government.

Most senators appointed by the junta and several elected MPs from other parties disagreed with the MFP’s obstinacy in modifying Section 112 of the Criminal Code, commonly referred to as the lese majeste law.

During a Wednesday afternoon press briefing, the Pheu Thai leader explained that following MFP’s unsuccessful bid for parliamentary support, Pheu Thai, as part of the eight-party alliance, was tasked with securing additional backing to form a government.

“It turns out that they do not accept any change to Section 112 and some parties even stated that they will not join a government with Move Forward anyway,” stated Dr Cholnan.

Subsequently, during a meeting on Wednesday morning, Pheu Thai communicated to Move Forward its decision to withdraw from the eight-party alliance.

They also announced their intention to propose their own candidate for prime minister, Srettha Thavisin, to parliament.

“Pheu Thai and Mr Srettha will keep Section 112 intact and the new government will not have Move Forward in its coalition,” Dr Cholnan clarified.

He mentioned that Wednesday morning’s conversation with Move Forward was conducted in a positive environment.

“Pheu Thai will try to gather enough votes (in the parliament) and Move Forward will be in the opposition,” he remarked.

The coalition’s constituents will be announced on Thursday, he added.

Should a government led by Pheu Thai come into power, amendments to the constitution would be made, as it currently hinders the establishment of the government.

Following this, power would be restored to the populace, and a new general election would be called, explained Dr Cholnan.

He committed to endorsing beneficial policies from the MFP and expressed Pheu Thai’s indifference if Move Forward decides against voting for Mr Srettha.

“Pheu Thai will lift the nation out of crisis,” Dr Cholnan declared.