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HOME // National News // Pheu Thai takes the lead in trying to form a new Thai government

Pheu Thai takes the lead in trying to form a new Thai government

Pita Limjareonrat

More than two months after the actual election, and after two joint-parliamentary sittings to elect a new Thai PM, and we are no closer to a result. Whilst Thailand remains politically paralysed, moves continue behind the scenes to solve the impasse between the popularly elected parties and the stalwart group of 250 hand-picked (by the previous government) senators.

Now the Move Forward Party has taken a step back in their political strategy by agreeing to back a candidate from the Pheu Thai Party for the prime ministerial position in next week’s joint sitting of the parliament (a third time the two Houses of Parliament have met together since the election).

According to Chaithawat Tulathon, the secretary general of the Move Forward Party, they have decided to support Pheu Thai’s nominee for Thailand’s top executive post. As of now, Pheu Thai Party has not officially announced their candidate, but the hot bet is that Srettha Thavisin, a property tycoon, is their most likely choice.

Thaksin Shinawatra’s youngest daughter, Patongtarn, is also one of the three nominees selected by the Pheu Thai party but she is considered to be politically inexperienced and became a new Mum during the election campaign.

In a press conference, Chaithawat affirmed that the Move Forward Party remains committed to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) they signed with seven other parties to form the post-election coalition. However, this recent development suggests a change in their approach to the prime ministerial candidacy.

One important question that arose during the press conference was whether the Move Forward Party would modify its stance on the contentious issue of the lèse majesté law, which imposes penalties on those found guilty of insulting the monarchy. Chaithawat addressed this concern by asserting that his party will uphold all the election promises they made. Previously, Move Forward had made amending the lèse majesté law one of its major policy objectives.

The issue was a major sticking point as Pita Limjaroenrat stood for the PM position last week but couldn’t draw enough support from the senators. Political pundits believe the any coalition with Move Forward party MPs will not be able to rally enough Senate votes to get a coalition across the line to form a government.

The decision to support a Pheu Thai candidate for the prime minister position follows the rejection of Move Forward’s leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, as a nominee. This move signifies a significant shift in the party’s political strategy and could have implications for the dynamics within the coalition. Pheu Thai are now in the best position to get their candidate, and a coalition, into a working government, with the support of the Senate.

As the parliamentary joint sitting approaches next Thursday, all eyes are on the Pheu Thai Party’s formal announcement of their candidate and how this newfound alliance between the Move Forward Party and Pheu Thai will play out in the struggle to form a new government.

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