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Pheu Thai is forming a coalition that would leave Move Forward in opposition

As the Pheu Thai Party leads efforts to form a new government, it looks like the Move Forward Party is being left out in the cold as the new coalition taking shape. According to a report from the Bangkok Post, sources close to the matter say the party, which came second in the May 14 general election, has invited 5 new parties into the coalition.

Their list of potential coalition partners includes some of Pheu Thai’s former political foes.

Should the PM vote tentatively scheduled for Friday go ahead, Pheu Thai will nominate property tycoon Srettha Thavisin for the role. We’ll know more on Thursday, when the Constitutional Confirm will decide whether to accept a petition regarding the blocking of Pita Limjaroenrat’s re-nomination for the PM job. Should the court accept the petition, voting will be postponed.

Meanwhile, Srettha Thavisin is being outed in Thai social media as a supporter of the Move Forward Party’s stance to amend the Lese Majeste laws, with postings from previous speeches on the matter.

Behind the scenes, Pheu Thai has been busy inviting Bhumjaithai, the Palang Pracharath Party, the Democrat Party, the Chart Thai Pattana Party, and the Chart Pattana Kla Party into the coalition. This is in addition to the existing members, who joined shortly after the election, when the bloc was still led by MFP.

According to the Bangkok Post’s sources, senior MFP members are angry with Pheu Thai ignoring the 8-party MoU which was signed in the days after Move Forward Party’s stunning election victory.

According to the sources, MFP believes that if Pheu Thai brings in the “old guard” parties, such as the PPRP, or the United Thai Nation Party, it should be prepared to deal with the fallout from both it’s own voter base and the 38% of Thai voters that voted for Move Forward.

It’s understood the UTN has not been approached, as this move would provoke even further outrage among Pheu Thai supporters and some of its current coalition partners.

Pheu Thai deputy leader Phumtham Wechayachai says MPs and senators have made it clear they will only vote for the party’s PM candidate if MFP are excluded from the coalition.

Meanwhile, parliament president Wan Muhamad Noor Matha says that if the PM vote cannot go ahead on Friday, the first item on the agenda will be discussion of a proposed amendment to Section 272 of the Constitution.

The amendment would remove unelected senators’ power to decide who becomes PM – a leftover of the outgoing junta, which has prevented the party the majority of the country voted for from forming a government.

Whether Thailand will get a new prime minister this Friday, or any time soon, is anyone’s guess.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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