Pheu Thai claims to have enough support to form post-election coalition
Pheu Thai Party, which has apparently emerged as the winner in last Sunday’s general election, has gathered enough support from its political allies to cobble up a coalition government, its secretary general Phumtham Vechayachai claimed this morning.
Phumtham said Pheu Thai and these parties command enough MPS to form a majority government but declined to name them.
However, he admitted that Bhumjaithai Party, a mid-sized party, which is now seen as a king-maker in the post-election scenario, has yet make a commitment in joining the coalition. Phumtham denied media reports that Pheu Thai has offered Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul the post of prime minister in return.
Pheu Thai and the pro-Prayut Palang Pracharath, which is trailing behind the former in terms of House seats, have launched a rival effort to form a coalition government with each claiming to have the mandate from the Sunday’s election. Pheu Thai banks its mandate on the number of seats won while Palang Pracharath claims it has more popular votes than the pro-Thaksin party.
“I can say that we have gathered enough support to form a coalition,” he said, suggesting that Pheu Thai now has the support of more than 250 MPs. The House of Representatives has 500 MPs and a new government needs to have more than 250 MPs to be politically stable.
While the Election Commission has yet to formally finalize the election results amidst a political deadlock, it’s clear that Bhumjaithai has emerged a key factor in determining future Thai political course. The party is being courted by both Pheu Thai and Palang Pracharath.
Pheu Thai now has the Future Forward Party of Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit as a major ally along with a few other smaller anti-Prayut parties but still needs to have Bhumjaithai on its side to be able to form a majority government.
Bhumjaithai leader Anutin has so far not committed himself to either of the political camps.