Once bitter former political foes, the Pheu Thai and BhumjaiThai parties have agreed to kiss and make up, forming the basis of a new coalition and a majority in Thailand’s lower house of parliament.
The Bhumjaithai Party, led by caretaker Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, will enter into coalition with Pheu Thai as they seek to form a new government. According to a Nation Thailand report, Bhumjaithai agreed to join the coalition under 3 conditions, all of which Pheu Thai has agreed to…
1. No touching Section 112 of the Criminal Code, aka Thailand’s lèse-majesté law, which prohibits criticism or defamation of the monarchy
2. The new coalition will not be a minority government led by Pheu Thai
3. The Move Forward Party will not be a part of the coalition
On Monday, August 7, Pheu Thai leader Cholanan Srikaew and Anutin held a joint conference at Pheu Thai headquarters at 4.00pm. Addressing the media, Anutin said Pheu Thai had agreed to the conditions laid down by Bhumjaithai.
Both parties command 212 votes in the Lower House, Pheu Thai with 141 MPs and Bhumjaithai with 71. According to Anutin, both parties have agreed to work together for the good of the country.
“At the moment, we have been informed by Pheu Thai that the formation of the government would definitely enjoy the support of more than half of the 500 seats, following the democratic and parliamentary process. We will work together to gain support from both MPs and senators to ensure that everything proceeds according to the constitutional process for the benefit of the people and the country.”
The outgoing health minister added that his party will fall in line with Pheu Thai’s proposal for PM, nominating a candidate likely to be approved by a parliamentary majority.
Meanwhile, Cholanan thanked Bhumjaithai for their willingness to join the coalition and work for the benefit of all. He confirmed that his party has agreed to all 3 conditions laid down by Anutin’s party.
When asked about Pheu Thai’s vow to hold a referendum on a new constitution, Cholanan responded to say that would take around 2 years.
SOURCE: Nation Thailand