By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE PHEU THA-LED coalition government now has mustered a combined force of 314 MPs including those of the “uncles’ camps” on their side, confirmed Pheu Thai wheeler-dealer Bhumtham Wechayachai today (Aug.17).
The 314-MPs-strong coalition partners include the Pheu Thai under de facto party boss Thaksin Shinawatra with 141 MPs, the Bhumjaithai under de facto party boss Newin Chidchob with 71 MPs, the Palang Pracharath led by Prawit “Uncle Pom” Wongsuwan with 40 MPs, the Ruam Thai Sang Chart under de facto party boss/caretaker prime minister Prayut “Uncle Tu” Chan-o-cha with 36 MPs, the Chart Thai Pattana led by Varawut Silpa-archa with 10 MPs and the Prachachart led by House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha with nine MPs plus those of six splinter parties with only one MP or two each.
Bhumtham, known as Thaksin’s right-hand man, said Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew, Pheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Chanthararuangthong and himself have reached an initial agreement with their Ruam Thai Sang Chart counterparts to the extent that Prayut’s camp be jumping onto the Pheu Thai bandwagon as the last coalition partner.
Though negotiations over the allocation of cabinet portfolios have not yet concluded for the time being, all coalition partners have already agreed to endorse Pheu Thai candidate Srettha Thavisin for prime minister in a joint House/Senate meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, according to the Pheu Thai wheeler-dealer.
Conflict of interest has apparently prevailed among the major coalition partners over certain economic portfolios such as the Ministry of Transport, “booked” by Newin’s camp, the Ministry of Agriculture & Cooperatives “booked” by Thaksin’s camp and the Ministry of Energy “booked” by Prayut’s camp, among others.
The Pheu Thai has earlier set a 1:9 ratio for a cabinet seat in proportion to the number of MPs which each coalition partner has.
Pheu Thai wheeler-dealer Bhumtham Wechayachai. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Matichon