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Bhumjaithai not joining Pheu Thai-led coalition unless Move Forward is dumped


By Thai Newsroom Reporters

THE BHUMJAITHAI UNDER DE FACTO party boss Newin Chidchob today (July 22) offered to join a Pheu Thai-led coalition government on condition that the Move Forward be dumped out of it.

In a press conference at the Pheu Thai headquarters, Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul said his camp which came out as the third largest elected party in the May 14 election will only join the Pheu Thai-led coalition partners if the Move Forward is finally excluded.

Anutin commented that the attitudes and working methods of the Move Forward are largely different from those of the Bhumjaithai and that they definitely could not work together in government.

The Bhumjaithai rank and file have earlier expressed strong objection to the naming of Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat for prime minister on grounds that his progressive party has invariably pushed for the campaign-promised amendment to the lese majeste law, better known as Section 112.

Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew said the resolute Bhumjaithai stand against the Move Forward is to be forwarded for joint consideration by the eight coalition partners of which Pita’s camp currently remains as part.

Chonlanan declined to comment whether the Move Forward will be dumped out of the Pheu Thai-led coalition so the Bhujaithai could probably be included among a few other camps.

Deputy Pheu Thai leader Bhumtham Wechayachai, known as right-hand man of de facto party boss Thaksin Shinawatra, Pheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Chanthararuangthong and Chonlanan have planned to hold informal talk with the Ruam Thai Sang Chart under de facto party boss Prayut Chan-o-cha and the Palang Pracharath headed by Prawit Wongsuwan in a refreshed bid to set up a majority government following the nationwide election.

The Pheu Thai with 141 MPs at its command, the Bhumjaithai with 71 MPs, the Palang Pracharath with 40 MPs and the Ruam Thai Sang Chart with 36 MPs could potentially make a majority government, pushing the Move Forward which came out as the No.1 largest elected camp with 151 MPs into an opposition bloc.

Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether Pheu Thai prime-ministerial candidate Srettha Thavisin, known as personally close to deposed prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, will eventually get adequate yea votes from more than half the combined total of MPs and senators or at least 375 votes.

In last week’s joint House/Senate meeting, the total of 249 senators, all of whom had been handpicked by Prawit and Prayut, either did not attend it or abstained from voting, albeit attending it, or cast nay votes against Pita for prime minister, compared to only 13 of their colleagues who cast yea votes for him.


Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew, right in above photo and left in Front Page photo, with Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul during talks at Pheu Thai headquarters this afternoon. Both photos: Thai Rath

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