In a significant political development, the Pheu Thai Party has successfully solidified a coalition agreement with the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) and the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party. According to a reliable source, this pact involves a reciprocal arrangement where both the PPRP and UTN have committed to supporting Srettha Thavisin, a prominent figure within Pheu Thai, and the anticipated prime ministerial candidate, in exchange for a share of the cabinet positions.
Though an official announcement is pending, this collaboration marks a significant stride for the Pheu Thai-led coalition, as it bolsters its parliamentary standing with a combined strength of 315 Members of Parliament (MPs), confirmed the inside source.
Among the key players in this alignment, the Pheu Thai Party holds 141 MPs, while the Bhumjaithai Party commands 71 MPs. The PPRP and UTN contribute 40 and 36 MPs respectively. Additional contributions to the coalition come from Chartthaipattana (10 MPs), Prachachat (9 MPs), Pheu Thai Ruam Palang (2 MPs), Chartpattanakla (2 MPs), and several single-MP parties including Seri Ruam Thai Party, Plung Sungkom Mai, Thongthee Thai, and the New Democracy Party.
The agreement includes specific allocations for Cabinet positions as well. According to the same source, Pheu Thai has agreed to allot one cabinet position for every nine MPs it holds. This allocation plan presents the opportunity for Pheu Thai to place its members in strategic governmental roles.
The source also revealed that the party’s leader, Cholnan Srikaew, is poised to undertake dual roles as deputy prime minister and education minister. Furthermore, Pheu Thai’s deputy leader, Phumtham Wechayachai, is earmarked for the interior minister role, while the party’s secretary-general, Prasert Chantararuangthong, is set to oversee the transport ministry.
In an intricate web of appointments, Pheu Thai’s list-MP for Chiang Mai, Julapun Amornvivat, is assigned the energy portfolio. Key party members Panpree Phathithanukorn and Puangpet Chunlaiad are expected to assume roles as foreign minister and PM’s Office minister respectively.
Pheu Thai’s assembly is not restricted to existing members. It was revealed that Pheu Thai is engaging with two high-calibre external candidates for the roles of finance and defence ministers.
The coalition-building strategy extends to the Bhumjaithai Party, which stands to gain four cabinet positions including the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Ministry of Commerce, and Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
Likewise, the PPRP has articulated its expectations. Pol. Gen. Patcharawat Wongsuwon, the party’s chief adviser, is slated to be designated as a deputy prime minister and the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment. PPRP secretary-general Capt. Thamanat Prompow is a strong contender for the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives role, while PPRP MP Pai Leeke could serve as deputy Minister of Interior.
The UTN Party is also seeking its payoff for the coalition. Its sights are set on securing the Ministry of Energy, as well as the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society.
Amidst these intricate negotiations, the Prachachat Party has proposed Pol Lt Col Tawee Sodsong as the new justice minister. Varawut Silpa-archa, leader of the Chartthaipattana Party, is predicted to ascend as the tourism and sports minister.
It is worth noting that, due to historical bad blood, the Pheu Thai Party initially pledged not to collaborate with the PPRP or UTN. The PPRP leader, Gen. Prawit Wongsuwon, has close ties with past coup-makers.
Nevertheless, Phumtham Wechayachai acknowledged that for the sake of stability, including these parties had become an unavoidable course of action.
The timeline for the new government’s establishment is tentatively set for October, according to Phumtham Wechayachai.
Meanwhile, the Move Forward Party (MFP) is deliberating its stance. MFP secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon stated that MFP MPs would convene on Tuesday to decide on supporting Pheu Thai’s PM candidate. He emphasized that MPs would adhere to the party’s position rather than individual judgments.
In response to the suggestion of avoiding Senate involvement, Chaithawat Tulathon queried the prior absence of Bhumjaithai Party’s support for the MFP-led bloc’s actions in Senate matters.
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