11 July 2024

Palang Pracharat secretary-general Sontirat Sontijirawong said today that it is not uncommon for MPs of the government and opposition camps to meet and talk with each other because of their personal relationships and because they have to work together in House committees.

Responding to a reporter’s question about reports that some people in the government have been attempting to woo Pheu Thai MPs to defect to the government’s core party, Palang Pracharat, or to vote for the government on certain issues, Sontirat, who is also energy minister, said it was just an unsubstantiated report.

He said, however, that it was impossible to prohibit MPs of the opposing camps meeting or talking with each other.

Personally, he said it would be beneficial to the country and the people if MPs of the two camps work together for the common good.

Sontirat said, however, that every time there is a vote in the House on a key issue, such as the fiscal budget bill which is due to be debated on October 17th, the government must make sure that it has the majority vote and welcomes any votes from opposition MPs.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said today that he would welcome any opposition defectors.

He added, though, that he was unaware that people had tried to “fish” MPs from the Pheu Thai party in exchange for financial or non-financial gains, as alleged by Pheu Thai chief strategist Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan.

“I don’t know. You better ask Khunying Sudarat,” said the deputy prime minister.