Pheu Thai takes command (updated)

With their election majority assured and Yingluck Shinawatra set to become Thailand's first female PM, Pheu Thai leaders have already started negotiating with possible coalition partners.

Pheu Thai Party’s top list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra is surrounded by reporters as she makes her way to the party headquarters in Bangkok yesterday. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD

Evening update: Five political parties on Monday announced they are forming a coalition government with Yingluck Shinawatra as prime minister.

Ms Yingluck, the Pheu Thai prime ministerial candidate, said the coalition would have altogether 299 MPs comprising 265 of Pheu Thai, 19 of Chartthaipattana, 7 of Chart Thai Pattana Puea Pandin, 7 of Palang Chon, and 1 of Mahachon.  The 299 MPs should be enough to ensure a solid majority, she said.

coalition government – a government formed by two or more political parties working together รัฐบาลผสม
majority – more than 50 percent of a group เสียงส่วนใหญ่

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Talks on next coalition begin

Pheu Thai asks two small parties to join cabinet

Aekarach Sattaburuth

Pheu Thai began negotiating with potential partners in a new coalition government after an unofficial vote count suggested it had won more than half of the Lower House seats in yesterday's election.

With a projected win of less than 300 seats, Pheu Thai will need the cooperation of at least three other parties to ensure government stability, said a party source.

Pheu Thai confirmed last night that it has discussed with Chartthaipattana the possibility of joining a coalition, while sources said the Phalang Chon Party and Chart Pattana Puea Pandin parties could also be possible partners.

According to the sources, negotiations for cabinet seats have already begun.

Supporters crowd around Pheu Thai’s top party-list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra to congratulate her on the party’s poll victory at the party head office yesterday. PATIPAT JUNTHONG

Chartthaipattana is seeking two ministerial posts and three deputy ministerial posts. The party is eyeing the Finance Ministry, the Commerce Ministry and the Transport Ministry.

Chart Pattana Puea Pandin wants to keep the Energy Ministry it was responsible for under the Democrat-led coalition, while Phalang Chon is likely to get one ministerial seat.

More negotiations are expected when each party knows how many seats it has won, said the sources.

As of press time last night, with more than 95% of votes counted, the projection was that Pheu Thai would win 262 seats, with the Democrats taking 160.

Pheu Thai itself is eyeing the Interior, Defence, Finance, Foreign and Transport ministries.

These portfolios are crucial to implementing the party's economic platforms and its plan to bring exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra back to Thailand.

Pheu Thai No 1 list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra confirmed Pheu Thai had approached Chartthaipattana about it joining the coalition government and is considering which other parties to invite.

Ms Yingluck, potentially Thailand's first female prime minister, thanked voters for their overwhelming support after it became clear that a decisive majority was within reach.

''It's not Pheu Thai's victory. It's the fellow voters who gave me and Pheu Thai a chance to work for the country,'' she said.

''There is a lot of work ahead – tackling economic woes and leading the country on the path of reconciliation. These tasks fall upon me and this is the beginning.''

She also thanked the Democrats and other parties for their efforts in allowing yesterday's election to proceed as smoothly as it did.

Ms Yingluck pledged to fulfill the party's campaign promises.

''We will put into practice every policy platform we have promised,'' she said.

''We will not disappoint the people.''

On the possible return of her brother Thaksin, Ms Yingluck said she would leave the matter to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

''The party has no policy to work for [just] one man,'' she said.

Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva prepares to announce his party’s poll defeat at the party’s head office yesterday. JETJARAS NA RANONG

Ms Yingluck's announcement came shortly after Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva admitted defeat and congratulated her on Pheu Thai's victory.

Pheu Thai's base in Bang Rak district was filled with supporters dressed in red and carrying red flags. The crowds roared as they watched Mr Abhisit concede defeat on television.

Natthawut Saikua, a list candidate and red-shirt leader, said the red shirt movement would not declare this as a victory.

''We are not fighting for any one party to form a government,'' he said.

''We are fighting for democracy and the end of double standards in the justice system.''

You can read the full, much longer, story here:

(party) list – a system that gives each party in an election a number of seats in relation to the number of votes its candidates receive ระบบสัดส่วน, ระบบปาร์ตี้ลิสต์
candidate – a person who is trying to be elected ผู้สมัครรับเลือกตั้ง
surrounded – having something completely around all sides ถูกล้อมรอบ
reporter – someone whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
headquarters – the place where an organisation or company has its main offices สำนักงานใหญ่ กองบัญชาการ
coalition (government) – a government formed by two or more political parties working together รัฐบาลผสม
cabinet – the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy คณะรัฐมนตรี
negotiate – to try to reach an agreement by discussing something in a formal way เจรจาต่อรอง
potential – possible เป็นไปได้
Lower House – House of Representatives สภาผู้แทนราษฎร
projected – calculated based on information already known คาดคะเน, ประเมิน
cooperation – a situation in which people or organisations work together to achieve a result that will benefit all of them  การร่วมมือกัน
ensure – to make certain that something happens or is done  ให้การยืนยัน, รับรอง, ให้ความมั่นใจ
stability – a situation in which things happen as they should and there are no harmful changes; when something is not likely to move or change ความมั่นคง, เสถียรภาพ
source – someone who gives information แหล่งข่าว
congratulate – to tell someone that you are pleased about their success, good luck or happiness on a special occasion แสดงความยินดี
poll – an election การเลือกตั้ง
victory – winning a competition or a battle ชัยชนะ
post – a job or position (in this case, the position of minister or deputy minister) ตำแหน่ง
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
eye – to consider carefully; to look at someone or something carefully พิจารณา, มองดู
responsible for – to have a duty to do something มีความรับผิดชอบ, มีความรับผิดชอบ
press time – the time when a newspaper is printed
portfolio – control over a ministry; all the responsibilities of a government minister ตำแหน่งรัฐมนตรี
crucial – extremely important because it effects the result of something สำคัญยิ่ง
implement – to put into practice; to make something such as an idea, plan, system or law start to work and be used นำแผนหรือนโยบายมาปฏิบัติ
platform – the aims of a political party and the things they say they will do if they win an election; manifesto นโยบาย
exiled – forced to live in a foreign country, usually for political reasons ที่ถูกเนรเทศ
approach – to start to speak or write to someone when you are asking for something or making an offer เข้าหา
female – being a woman or a girl สตรี, ผู้หญิง, เพศหญิ
overwhelming – by a very large amount or margin อย่างท่วมท้น
decisive – making the final result of a situation completely certain   ซึ่งมีลักษณะชี้ขาด,แน่วแน่,ซึ่งตัดสินใจแล้ว
majority – more than 50 percent of a group เสียงส่วนใหญ่
fellow – used for talking about people who are similar to you or are in the same situation  เพื่อนร่วมชะตากรรม
tackle – to make an organised and determined attempt to deal with a problem จัดการกับปัญหา
woes – great problems or troubles ความเสียใจ, ความทุกข์ร้อน
reconciliation – a new and friendly relationship with someone who you argued with or fought with การทำให้ปรองดองกันอีก,  การสมานฉันท์
task – something that you have to do หน้าที่; ภารกิจ
proceed – to continue as planned ดำเนินการ
pledge – to make a serious promise to do something สัญญา
fulfill – to achieve something that you wanted to do, or to get something that you hoped for  สำเร็จ
campaign – a planned series of activities designed to persuade voters to vote for a particular candidate or political party การรณรงค์หาสียง
commission – a group of people who have been formally chosen to discover information about a problem or examine the reasons why the problem exists คณะกรรมการ, คณะกรรมาธิการ
defeat – a loss ความพ่ายแพ้
admit defeat – concede defeat; to admit that you have lost ยอมรับความพ่ายแพ้
roar – to make a continuous, very loud noise แผดเสียงดัง,ร้องเสียงดังก้อง  
movement – a group of people who share the same aim and work together to achieve it การเคลื่อนไหวเพื่อวัตถุประสงค์ทางการเมือง
declare – to announce officially that something is true or happening ประกาศ