Cannabis clash to coalition: Bhumjaithai’s olive branch to Pheu Thai Party PM candidate

Photo via Facebook/ เศรษฐา ทวีสิน - Srettha Thavisin and พรรคภูมิใจไทย

The fickle nature of Thai politics once again reared its ugly head when the leader of the Bhumjaithai Party extended an olive branch to the Pheu Thai Party prime ministerial candidate who levied against their cannabis legalisation policy during the General Election campaign.

Pheu Thai Party leader Chonlanarn Srikaew yesterday invited Anutin Charvirakul and the Bhumjaithai Party to a press conference to announce they have agreed to form a coalition government and agreed to propose Srettha Thavisin as their PM candidate.

Anutin expressed confidence that the parties would successfully form a government with 212 votes from MPs from the two parties, 141 from the Pheu Thai Party and 71 from his party.

Anutin emphasised that the two parties agreed they would not revise the lese majeste law, not be a minority government, and would not include the Move Forward Party (MFP) in their government-aligned parties.

According to a report on BBC Thai, the two parties need 163 more votes from senators and MPs from other parties to be able to form a government and they will not court votes from the MFP as it would upset the majority of the Senate.

Reporters grilled both two parties about their fickle campaigns and empty election promises.

The Pheu Thai Party was questioned about their campaign “Chasing away rats and killing cobras.” The campaign implied that they would never work with Anutin, whose nickname is Noo, which means rats in Thai and would chase away the MPs who supported policies of military-backed parties instead of the Pheu Thai Party.

The seemingly disingenuous Chonlanarn said…

“Chasing away rats and killing cobras is only a campaign to garner votes, not to foment enmity with any party. It was only an electoral tactic.”

Chonlanarn’s dishonest revelation disappointed a number of party loyalists and voters,

During the election campaign PM candidate Srettha also disagreed with the Bhumjathai Party’s cannabis legalisation. Srettha blamed Bhumjaithai Party for encouraging Thailand’s youth to use cannabis leading the party to file a lawsuit against Srettha, branding his words as insulting.

Some reporters questioned Anutin about the lawsuit. Anutin revealed the party has dropped the lawsuit and was ready to join the Pheu Thai Party in government formation.

Even though the Pheu Thai Party is confident that it will successfully form a government and gain enough votes from senators and MPs to secure the PM positions. Srettha’s trustworthiness is under scrutiny, stemming from accusations that he and his real estate-affiliated party had skirted tax obligations.

To be continued…


Anutin Bhumjaithai Chonlanarn Pheu Thai
Leader of Bhumjaithai Party Anutin Charnvirakul, left and Leader of Pheu Thai party Chonlanan Srikaew smile during a press conference announcing coalition party. Photo by Sakchai Lalit via AP

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.