11 July 2024

Palang Pracharath and Pheu Thai parties have launched  rival efforts to cobble up a coalition government, with each claiming mandate from the Sunday election which sees the two parties clinching the most seats but with neither having a decisive lead. 

Each also has its own interpretation of people’s mandate. Pheu Thai claims its mandate from the number of seats it has won while Palang Pracharath bases its mandate on its popular votes which are higher that those gained by its rival.

Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, a prime minister candidate of Pheu Thai, insisted at a press conference that since unofficial election results released by the Election Commission show that the pro-Thaksin party has gained the most seats, it should be given the priority in forming a coalition.

“The will of the people should be respected,” she said of the election results which put Pheu Thai ahead of Palang Pracharath in terms of House seats.   As she was speaking the latest vote tally gave Pheu Thai 137 seats compared to 112 seats for Palang Pracharath.

She said the party would start talking to other parties “which share the same ideology of stopping the legacy” of the military coup to form a coalition.

Phumtham Vechayachai, the party’s secretary general, said at the same press conference that it has been a tradition for party which commands the most seats to be the core of a coalition.

But Palang Pracharath has also embarked on a rival task to form a coalition, according to its leader Uttama Savanayana.

He insisted that whichever party that can muster enough support from other parties should be given the chance to form a coalition.   He told a news conference that his party would immediately make contact with parties that share similar political stance to form a coalition.

Medium-sized parties, notably the Democrat and Bhumjaithai, now play a crucial role in deciding the shape of the post-election coalition.  Bhumjaithai Party leader insisted that he would wait for official results of the election before deciding his next move.  “What I can say is that the coalition government needs to be stable one,” he said.

Meanwhile, Korn Chatikavanji, a deputy leader of the Democrat Party, denied in a Facebook post a media report that his party had been approached to join a Pheu Thai-led coalition. “This is something impossible,” he said.