6 June 2024

Discontent appears to be emerging in the Palang Pracharat-led coalition as the Rak Puenpa Prathet Thai party, which commands two party-list House seats, demands a cabinet seat.

Meanwhile, a group of 19 Palang Pracharat MPs, representing the northeastern region, is complaining of unfair treatment by the party for leaving them out of the allocation of cabinet seats.

Rak Puenpa Prathet Thai party leader Damrong Pidet, former director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation, claimed today that the Palang Pracharat party had offered his party the opportunity to work in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and he was convinced that the core party would reserve a seat in the ministry for the party.

However, he said the party has not been approached by anyone from Palang Pracharat since the offer was made, adding that he learned that the ministerial seat has been given to the Chart Thai Pattana party, which holds ten House seats.

Damrong warned that the party might review its decision to join the coalition government in favour of becoming an independent opposition voice in parliament.

One of the northeastern MPs, Mr. Aekkarat Changlao, told the media today that they had been told by core party members to stay quiet and they would be taken care of, adding “but so far, we feel that those who remain quiet and behave like gentlemen are not taken care of, unlike those who have access to the party leadership.”

The party-list MP, however, assured that the dissident group would not quit the Palang Pracharat party, but they would meet to discuss how they would send a message to the party that they are not satisfied with the cabinet seat allocations.

Aekkarat maintained that the group had not demanded a cabinet seat, but wanted to have seats on the executive board to give them a say in national budgeting.