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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

Politeness needed in formation of new govt, says DPM Wissanu

Outgoing Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha before the meeting of the caretaker cabinet at Government House on Tuesday. Asked how he was, he replied "still prime minister". (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Polite negotiations and kindness are needed for the successful formation of the new government, not the trading of insults, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Tuesday.

He was speaking before going into the meeting of the caretaker cabinet, the first since the May 14 general election, from which 13 ministers were absent on Tuesday.

Mr Wissanu said a new coalition government could be formed, unless those involved began trading insults and were unable to reach agreement.

"The formation of the new government is now the burden of the Move Forward Party, which won the most House seats," he said.

The 250 senators had the right to also vote for the new prime minister, Mr Wissanu said, and they had differing points of view, but this should be negotiable.

"Any wish can come true when generosity is offered in exchange," he said.

There would be no political vacuum while the new government was being formed, because the caretaker cabinet was taking care of government business.

Mr Wissanu said the Election Commission would verify the election results in two months. Then the House would be called into session, the parliament president would be elected and would then schedule a joint sitting to vote for the new prime minister.

"If the new prime minister is elected, that will be it. If the election is not concluded wih the first vote, the process will be repeated over and over. There should not be any problems. How can there be any vacuum with the existence of the caretaker government," Mr Wissanu said.

On Tuesday, 13 cabinet ministers took leave of absence from the weekly meeting. They included caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit.

Mr Anutin is leader of the Bhumjaithai Party, which won the third most House seats at Sunday's general election. His decision is awaited on the formation of the next government. Mr Jurin on Sunday night resigned as leader of the Democrat Party after it was trounced at the polls.

Outgoing Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha chaired the cabinet meeting on Tuesday. When reporters asked how he was, he replied that he was the prime minister.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda said he intended to leave politics. He did not know what Gen Prayut intended to do.

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