Somsak:Matchima independent of BJT

The Matchima group is now politically independent of the Bhumjaithai Party but the two remain on good terms, faction leader Somsak Thepsuthin confirmed on Sunday.

BJT, led by Anuthin Charnvirakul, has 34 MPs. Seven of them belong to the Matchima faction while the others are under Mr Anuthin and Newin Chidchob.

Mr Somsak said Matchima had split off from BJT and was now independent, although officially it was still a part of it.

He said Matchima would take the middle path and pursue a constructive line of politics.

He admitted that while Matchima was still in the opposition bloc, its heart was with the government. It wanted the country's human resources to be used properly and disagreed with holding elections too frequently.

On constitutional amendment, Mr Somsak said his group did not attach much importance to it but would support any move to create reconciliation.

He denied having a conflict with Mr Anuthin, the current BJT leader, and Mr Newin although Matchima had in practice broken away from BJT.

On the political situation next year, Mr Somsak said there would still be problems with constitutional amendment.

In his opinion, it would take up to two years to amend the constitution because there were many steps to be taken including a public referendum. He said the government had tried to avoid voting on the charter amendment bill in the third reading because it could lead to violence.

He predicted that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra had many strong points, including being prudent and having good advisers, that would enable her government to complete its four-year term.

Mr Somsak said he believed that in the next cabinet reshuffle a key member of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), particularly Jatuporn Prompan, would be included to satisfy the red shirts.

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