6 June 2024

The leading members of the eight parties in the Pita-led coalition met on Tuesday to discuss details of the policies to be implemented once the government is in place.

They also reportedly touched on some of their differences, and will discuss those they could not resolve at a later date.

Referring to the tussle over the House speakership, Pita Limjaroenrat, leader of Move Forward and tipped to be the next premier, said that the issue was raised and it was agreed that his party and Pheu Thai will consider the issue jointly.

Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew said it will not be an obstacle to forming the government.

Move Forward and Pheu Thai have been engaged in war of words over the House speaker position, with Move Forward saying the position belongs to the party because it won the most House seats.

Pheu Thai, coming second, insisted that Pita’s party should, however, not take both the premiership and the House speakership.

The other coalition parties are Thai Sang Thai, Prachachat, Pheu Thai Rumphlang, Seri Ruam Thai, Plung Sungkom Mai and Fair.

Tuesday’s meeting was held at the Prachachat party’s headquarters in Don Muang.

Seven working groups have been set up to deal with electricity and diesel prices, drought and El Nino problems, violence in three southernmost provinces, constitution review, the environment and PM2.5 dust problems, the economy, livelihoods and SME-related problems and illegal drugs.

The establishment of the working groups is in line with the MoU signed earlier by the coalition partners.

More working groups will be set up and have representatives of each coalition party as members. Their work will be transformed into government policies, Pita said.

The selection ministers will be done in due course, Pita said.

Pita said he hopes that the Election Commission will take a long time to ratify the election results, so that he can officially form the government as soon as possible and start solving problems for the people.

Referring to the raising of daily wages to Bt450, Pita said the working group on the economy will handle the issue. After discussions with the Federation of Thai Industries and the Thai Chamber of Commerce, more talks are needed to ensure that any raise is in line with the GDP, inflation and a growing labour force.

Concerning the reclassification of marijuana as a controlled substance, Pita said that, in many countries, although marijuana is listed as controlled substance, it can be used for medical purposes.

Zoning could be applied and those who publicly carry it could face punishment. For those who have marihuana-related businesses, the working group will discuss the possibility of an amnesty.

Pita also raised doctors’ working hours, which are currently about 100 hours per week. He said that is too high, it should be 60 hours per week. A solution is to increase personnel and introduce telemedicine.