PPRP to offer tie-up with 'kingmakers'
Dems, Bhumjaithai to formalise alliance
The final piece of the coalition formation puzzle is expected to fall into place on Monday, with the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) expected to extend formal invitations to join its coalition to the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties.
PPRP deputy spokesman, Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, on Sunday told the Bangkok Post that PPRP leader Uttama Savanayana will visit the headquarters of the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties today with members of the party's executive board to formally ask them to come aboard and form a PPRP-led coalition government.
Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul said earlier on Sunday the party that wishes to be at the centre of the coalition should be the one making the arrangements and invitations. It is widely believed that Mr Anutin was referring to the PPRP when he made his remark.
''Bhumjaithai has no problem. We remain as one," said Mr Anutin.
"When we have made a deal, we'll honour it. We'll also push for the policies which we have promised during our campaign until they bear fruit."
In a separate development, the House of Representatives on Sunday voted in the PPRP MP for Chochoengsao, Suchart Tancharoen, as the first deputy House Speaker. Meanwhile, Bhumjaithai MP for Nakhon Phanom, Supachai Phosu, was chosen as second deputy House Speaker.
The appointments of Mr Suchart and Mr Supachart came one day after Chuan Leekpai of the Democrat Party was chosen as House Speaker -- a move which is believed to be a part of a deal for the Democrat Party to bring its lawmakers to join the PPRP-led alliance.
Mr Suchart narrowly beat Yaowaluck Wongpraparat of the Future Forward Party (FFP) by two votes -- winning by 248 to 246.
Mr Supachai received 256 votes, defeating Prasong Boonpong of the Seree Ruam Thai Party who gained 239 votes.
The line-up of the House Speaker and two deputies indicate the Democrat Party with its 52 seats, and the Bhumjaithai Party, which won 51 seats -- both of which are seen as keys to the successful formation of a PPRP-led coalition government -- have already finalised deals for cabinet seats with the PPRP, observers said.
Separately, Srinual Boonlue of the FFP held a commanding lead over candidates from other parties in Sunday's election rerun in Constituency 8 of the northern province of Chiang Mai, as of press time.
The rerun was called after Surapol Kietchaiyakorn, the winning candidate from the Pheu Thai Party, was disqualified by the Election Commission for breaching the election law by giving 2,000 baht and a clock to a monk.
Voting began at 8am and concluded at 5pm, on Sunday.
The EC will announce the official results today.
In the March 24 poll, Mr Surapol, an eight-time MP in Chiang Mai, came first with 52,165 votes, followed by Nares Thamrongtipayakhun of the PPRP with 39,221 votes, Srinual Boonlue of the FFP with 29,556 votes and Voranan Omthuam of the Democrat Party with 2,508 votes.