Pheu Thai To Decide on MFP’s Inclusion in Their New Coalition

The eight-party coalition has set a meeting for Tuesday to decide on the inclusion of the Move Forward Party (MFP) in the formation of a new government.

This decision arises from the resistance voiced by other parties, who have made it clear they won’t support the coalition in a prime ministerial vote if the MFP continues to be a part of it.

Over the last few days, the Pheu Thai Party (PT) has taken the lead in efforts to form a government following the MFP’s unsuccessful attempt to secure their leader’s election.

As part of this initiative, Pheu Thai has reached out to various parties, soliciting their backing for a second vote scheduled for Thursday.

A general agreement is the reluctance to cooperate with Pheu Thai if the MFP, a key coalition ally, insists on modifying Section 112 of the Criminal Code, also known as the lese majeste law, according to Cholnan Srikaew, the Pheu Thai leader.

He expressed these sentiments after a meeting with representatives from the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) on Sunday. He will report this stand to the alliance before any subsequent determinations are made on the coalition’s makeup, as stated by Dr. Cholnan.

Pheu Thai plans to negotiate with all parties, excluding the Democrat Party, which seems unprepared for discussions due to the absence of a party leader.

“Before Pheu Thai nominates its prime ministerial candidate, the alliance will have to conclude how it can secure at least 375 votes in support of the candidate,” Dr. Cholnan said.

Pheu Thai has also decided to assign former industry minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit to lead the negotiations starting from Monday, with individual senators instead of organizing a formal gathering with the Senate, he said.

PPRP’s Secretary-General Santi Promphat expressed that PPRP considers MFP’s proposal to modify the lese majeste law to be objectionable and firmly stands against it.

Meanwhile, PPRP’s MP for Phayao, Capt Thamanat Prompow, affirmed the party won’t nominate Gen Prawit Wongsuwon for a prime ministerial vote due to failing to meet its general election target of at least 250 House seats.

Amid Pheu Thai’s coalition formation efforts, the Senate whip hinted at possibly delaying the next prime ministerial vote to early August, should the party fail to secure sufficient backing for its candidate.

Beforehand, Pheu Thai needs to clarify which parties will be a part of the new coalition it’s striving to build, stated Senator Somchai Sawangkarn in his role as the secretary-general of the Senate whip.

Drawing a comparison between the formation of the new coalition and a wedding, where Pheu Thai is the groom and MFP the prospective bride, the senator mentioned that the groom needs to specify his intended bride.

“Stop using the Senate as a scapegoat. It’s inappropriate to force the Senate to end your relationship with the Move Forward party,” Mr Somchai said.

“Don’t rush the coalition if you’re not ready. A smooth ‘wedding’ requires preparation, and picking a prime minister isn’t a casual decision,” added the senator.

Following a formal discussion with Pheu Thai on Sunday, Chartthaipattana Party leader Varawut Silpa-archa affirmed that his party’s collaboration with Pheu Thai depends on their explicit exclusion of parties seeking to change the lese majeste law.