Pheu Thai Party Plans MFP-Free Coalition if Pita Fails PM Vote

Pheu Thai Party stands prepared to assemble a substitute coalition, excluding the Move Forward Party (MFP).

This means inviting parties from the outgoing government if MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat doesn’t garner enough support for his prime ministerial ambition in the Wednesday parliamentary vote, as stated by sources within Pheu Thai.

The reports disclosed that Mr. Pita, the sole MFP contender for the premier’s post, confronts multiple obstacles to his bid for PM. Even in the Wednesday’s second round of voting, he will not receive enough backing, they predict.

The sources indicated the initial roadblock is his detractors, particularly the 250 senators. They will use the parliamentary meeting rule No.41, which prevents a previously declined motion from being reintroduced in the same session, to obstruct his re-nomination.

In case of rejection, the PM election must be rescheduled. Pheu Thai would then get an opportunity to put forward their own candidate.

Srettha Thavisin, one of the party’s three PM candidates, is expected to be selected, the sources elaborated.

Continuing, they expressed the improbability of establishing a new coalition government with the MFP, as the majority of senators have clearly expressed their unwillingness to back the party due to its position on changing Section 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lese majeste law.

Pheu Thai plans to overcome this obstacle by leading the formation of the new government.

This would entail excluding the MFP, while attempting to incorporate parties from the outgoing government, like Bhumjaithai, Palang Pracharath (PPRP), and Chartthaipattana, into the coalition. Together, these parties have approximately 300 MPs.

“This composition is most likely to happen, and it must be agreed upon [by the parties mentioned above] and approved by the senators before the next round of voting [if Mr Pita fails in his bid today],” the sources indicated.

“This is a major issue. Pheu Thai may have to take some flak, but we hope people will understand the situation,” they continued.

“We cannot get everything, but we won’t lose everything.”

On Tuesday, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, one of the Pheu Thai PM candidates, stated that the party would propose Mr. Srettha for the much-coveted prime minister position if the joint parliamentary session rejects Mr. Pita’s nomination on Wednesday.

“The Pheu Thai Party will nominate Mr Srettha Thavisin. This is clear,” announced Ms. Paetongtarn, the daughter of ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thaksin and Ms. Paetongtarn both predict his return to Thailand soon after a lengthy period in exile, despite looming legal repercussions.

Before putting forth Mr. Srettha’s name, Pheu Thai pledged full support to Mr. Pita for the prime minister position, according to Ms. Paetongtarn. However, if the parliament declines his bid, Pheu Thai would then nominate Mr. Srettha.

Mr. Pita didn’t achieve the required majority vote in a joint meeting of the House and Senate on July 13.

The eight potential coalition partners decided on Monday to propose Mr. Pita again on Wednesday, despite criticism that such a process cannot proceed indefinitely.

Ms. Paetongtarn stated her backing for Mr. Srettha because of his understanding of business and economics. Mr. Srettha was previously president of the real estate firm Sansiri Plc.

When questioned about a senator’s commitment to support Pheu Thai if it excludes the MFP from its coalition, Ms. Paetongtarn said that the eight parties would consider the issue.

Answering reporters’ queries, Ms. Paetongtarn said she hadn’t considered if she would hold a ministerial position in the new administration.

She later said that her father has decided to delay his return until the political environment stabilizes and the vote to choose the 30th prime minister is over.

Thaksin previously mentioned his intention to return before his birthday on July 26.