Talks in forming coalition have yet to start – Pheu Thai leader
Despite Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat’s expressed confidence that he is in the process of cobbling together a post-election coalition, serious negotiation with potential coalition partners has yet to begin, Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew said this morning.
Speaking to Thai PBS, Cholnan said Pheu Thai is waiting for Move Forward Party to take the initiative in setting the terms for the negotiation.
“We are the bride. It’s only fair that we need to wait for the bridegroom to make the approach,” he told Thai PBS in a phone interview.
Pita on Monday announced that Move Forward, the top winner in the general election, is in the process of forming a coalition with Pheu Thai and four other smaller parties.
Pheu Thai later said in a statement that it welcomed Move Forward’s initiative to set up a coalition with former members of the opposition bloc.
Cholnan reaffirmed that Pheu Thai would not make a rival move to form a coalition. However, he admitted that so far no formal talks with Move Forward had been conducted.
Cholnan said Prasert Chantararuangthong, secretary general of Pheu Thai, has been appointed as the coordinator in its negotiations with the Move Forward in forming a coalition.
Cholnan’s remarks came as doubts rise whether Move Forward leader Pita will be able to get support from senators to become the next prime minister. A number of conservative senators on Monday indicated that they might not vote for Pita.
Under the current Constitution, the 250 military-appointed senators will have a say in electing the prime minister. Pita would need support from at least 376 members of the Parliament to be elected prime minister.
He is most unlikely to get that number by depending on the support of MPs alone. The combined number of MPs of Move Forward and those of its five potential coalition partners stands at 310.
Political analysts speculate that despite Pheu Thai’s declared support for Pita, the former biggest opposition party stands ready to form a coalition itself in the event that Pita cannot muster enough parliamentary support to be prime minister.
There were rumours prior to the election that Pheu Thai had entered into a secret pact with the military-supported Palang Pracharat Party to form coalition.