Bangkok—The Pheu Thai Party announced on Wednesday, March 27, that it is forming a coalition with six other parties.
Staying one step ahead of the military-linked party Phalang Pracharath, the Pheu Thai Party announced that it was teaming up with the Future Forward, Seri Ruam Thai, Prachachart, Puea Chat, New Economics, and Thai People Power parties.
Together, they stand to gain more than 250 seats in Parliament in order to form a majority in the lower house.
According to Sudarat Keyuraphan, Pheu Thai’s candidate for prime minister, “Pheu Thai has been firm, since our first day of campaigning until election day, that we want to stop the NCPO’s power. We want to carry out the intentions of the people since we have gotten the majority. We have at least 255 seats, although the numbers are not final yet.”
NCPO stands for National Council for Peace and Order, which is the military junta that has ruled in Thailand since the 2014 Thai coup d’état.
The following are the leaders of the coalition parties: Future Forward’s Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, Seri Ruam Thai’s Sereepisut Temeeyavets and Prachachart’s Wan Muhamad Noor Matha. They were all present at the press conference announcing the coalition.
Mingkwan Sangsuwan from New Economics party was not at the announcement but said he would hold a separate press conference later on. Pheu Thai’s Bhumtham Vecchayachai confirmed the New Economics party’s commitment to join the coalition.
The parties that ranked fourth and fifth by way of seats gained in the elections—the Bhumjaithai and Democrat parties—have not announced yet which side they are choosing to ally with. This could determine how power will eventually be shared.
However, Korn Chatikavanij of the Democrat Party announced that joining Pheu Thai will be “impossible” for him.
At the press conference, Ms Sudarat said the recent election irregularities were caused by “secret power.” On Tuesday, she had critical words for Phalang Pracharath, claiming they were attempting to form a coalition even if it had not won most of the seats in the poll.
Mr Thanathorn from Future Forward announced that his party, as well as others, would work to see the end of the military junta in power. He had endorsed Pheu Thai Party’s right to form the government.
He said, “Me and other political parties here will work together to end the NCPO’s power, which we believe is the desire of the majority. The most suitable prime minister for Thailand today is Khun Ying Sudarat.”
Seri Ruam Thai’s Sereepisut Temeeyavets put forth a call for others to join the coalition being formed. “I want to invite all parties, big and small, to join us. Otherwise, you will be colluding in (sic) them continuing their rule.”
Furthermore, he called for the resignation of General Prayuth Chan-ocha as Prime Minister. “Prayuth, sacrifice yourself. Resign now.”
When he said “The media, don’t you guys agree? If you agree, put your hands together,” the room erupted in applause.
Wan Muhamad, the leader of Prachachart, had strong words against the military junta. “The economy has been dismal since the junta came into power. Which investor wants to take a risk with a government held by a thread?”
Puea Chat’s Songkram Kitlertphairote appealed for transparency from the Election Commission. “This is the first page of history. If you do well, then this will impact favorably upon your family and Thailand. Citizens have already raised questions about your conduct.”
Thai People Power Party, who had won one seat in Sunday’s elections, asked for undecided parties and smaller ones to be part of the coalition. Nikom Boonwiset, the party’s leader, said, “We were watching TV. We had 350,000 votes when they suddenly dropped to 75,000. I wonder where our votes went. We are a small party. Don’t let our votes disappear.”
Meanwhile, Palang Pracharat says it has the right to form the government, since it won the most seats, expecting 251 seats in the lower house, according to spokesman Kobsak Pootrakool.
He said, “Palang Pracharat will talk to like-minded parties who share the same ideology and standpoint to move the country forward, which will take a while.”
Palang Pracharat has nominated that General Prayuth remain as Prime Minister.
The final results of the elections will not be announced until May 9.
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