Somkid talks up economic growth oath
Deputy PM confident of inter-party unity
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has expressed confidence in his ability to work with various coalition parties to push economic growth.
"I believe I can reach out to my brothers in different ministries. Although they are from different parties, we know each other, particularly Anutin Charnvirakul, who is deputy premier and public health minister," said Mr Somkid.
He said he wants ministers to act responsibly and expedite their efforts to mobilise megaprojects.
He said the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) -- which leads the coalition government -- is compiling election pledges made by each party before they joined the government, to devise a common government policy. He added that opposition parties could also suggest policies to the government for consideration.
Democrat Party leader Jurin Laksanavisit, who is a deputy premier and the commerce minister, said his camp still adheres to the charter amendment and crop price guarantee scheme as major issues which must be addressed as government policy.
Regarding calls for constitution amendments, he said there is a need to make the document more democratic. He said it is not easy to amend the charter since it requires more than half the votes in a joint sitting of MPs and senators, along with more than 20% of opposition MPs and one-third of senators.
The charter rewrite would be forwarded as an urgent item on the agenda and it must be executed within a year, Mr Jurin said, adding: "I am confident there is a high chance of success."
Meanwhile, representatives from the coalition parties yesterday met to forge a common government policy. PPRP spokesman Kobsak Pootrakul said the policy is divided into urgent missions that must be met within one year and other tasks which must be completed within the next four years.
A few of the urgent tasks include the government's pledge to tackle bread-and-butter issues, enhance welfare schemes, and deal with other immediate problems, such as PM 2.5 dust pollution, he said. Mr Anutin, leader of the Bhumjaithai Party and deputy prime minister, who is also overseeing the Public Health Ministry, said efforts will be made to pursue transport projects to make commuting more convenient.
Regarding the party's campaign pledge to promote medical cannabis, he said no state organisations have disagreed with the policy. He said he is confident coalition partners would work together.
"There is no pressure for me [to pursue the scheme] since this issue would be a boon for the public," said Mr Anutin. He had asked the Bhumjaithai Party secretary-general Saksayam Chidchob, who is also transport minister, to hold talks with coalition partners about a common government policy.