New Economics to reveal if its MPs defecting to govt
published : 20 Aug 2019 at 15:51
writer: Aekarach Sattaburuth
The New Economics Party will announce on Thursday whether speculation some of its MPs will switch sides and join the government coalition is justified.
Deputy leader Niyom Wiratthanaditkul on Tuesday had a meeting with opposition chief whip Suthin Khlangsaeng of the Pheu Thai Party and other members of the whip committee. Representatives from all seven opposition parties were present.
The meeting followed media speculation the party is about to defect to the coalition government led by the Palang Pracharath Party.
Mr Niyom said he and former New Economics Party leader Mingkwan Saengsuwan would hold a media conference on Aug 22 to clarify the party's position.
He admitted some members of the six-MP party wanted to join the coalition government.
However, he and Mr Mingkwan would remain with the opposition. He would give further details on Thursday, the deputy party leader said.
On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, chief strategist of Palang Pracharath, said in reply to questions that "it would be good" if the New Economics Party joined the government. However, there had been no talks on the issue, according to Gen Prawit.
Pheu Thai secretary-general Anudit Nakhonthap said parties had the right to switch sides, but their decision should be guided by whether their constituents would accept it or not, particularly with regard to pledges made to voters during the election campaign.
Government and opposition MPs were duty-bound to perform their checks-and-balances role, Mr Anudit said.
On reports that Pheu Thai MPs in Surin province had shown up and given support to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha during his visit to the lower northeastern province on Monday, he said the matter would be raised during the daily party meeting.
He had no issue if the prime minister visited provinces and local opposition MPs welcomed him and followed up on the government's measures to address people’s problems.
However, Pheu Thai MPs would be investigated if they said they would not sign their names to a censure debate motion against the prime minister and would support him completing his four-year term, the party secretary-general said.