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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

New govt coalition parties yet to agree terms

Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat, centre, holds a press conference with the leaders of seven potential coalition partners on Thursday as they announced their intention to form a new government and back Mr Pita as the next prime minister. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

Potential governing coalition parties have yet to agree on the terms of a memorandum of understanding expected to be announced on Monday, according to a senior Move Forward Party (MFP) official.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra denied he would meet representatives of previous government parties in Hong Kong.

MFP secretary-general Chaithawat Tulanon said on Sunday MFP was set to meet representatives of each potential coalition party separately to thrash out the terms of a memorandum of understanding it planned to sign with potential coalition parties.

“The political parties still have different opinions… They will work out joint agreements before the press conference tomorrow,” Mr Chaithawat said.

The MoU would contain not only the MFP's agenda but also that of other parties, including peace-making in three southern border provinces, the MFP secretary-general said.

On May 17 the leader of the Prachachart Party enquired about MFP’s idea to end barriers to competition in the market for alcoholic beverages. MFP told the leader it would not encourage people to drink alcohol but simply wanted to end the monopoly in the production of alcoholic beverages.

In addition, MFP wanted to legalise same-sex marriage to welcome social diversity. 

The Prachachart Party needed to explain the issues to Muslims, its main supporters, Mr Chaithawat said.

He also said that MFP and seven other parties planned to form the next government with 313 House MPs.

“The number of House votes should be enough. Talks with senators are underway,” Mr Chaithawat said, referring to unelected senators’ power to join House represenatives in the vote for the next prime minister, as enshrined in the junta-scripted constitution.

MFP will need at least 376 votes – half the total of the 500 House representatives and 250 senators – in the joint sitting. MFP is trying to woo some of the senators to back its leader Pita Limjaroenrat as the next prime minister.

Many senators have sought the details of the MoU before the press conference on Monday, he said.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra denied speculation he would meet representatives of previous government parties in Hong Kong. He wrote on Twitter that he was still in Dubai and would travel “late tomorrow night”. He denied he planned to visit Hong Kong.

Mr Thaksin’s message followed a post by Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul that his family was on holiday in Hong Kong.

Mr Anutin is curerntly a deputy prime minister and also public health minister. His Bhumjaithai Party garnered the third most House MPs in the May 14 general election.

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