Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul has denied a report that the party has reached a deal with the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) to support its leader Gen Prawit Wongsuwon becoming the next prime minister.
Mr Anutin on Friday dismissed the report as untrue, insisting that he is ready to become the next prime minister if a majority of voters support Bhumjaithai in the upcoming election.
He said a prime minister must come from a party which can gather the support of more than half of elected MPs.
Mr Anutin said Gen Prawit also shares his view that a party that wins the most seats should have its candidate get the prime minister post.
"In principle, no one should try to form a government before the election. We must wait for the people's mandate first," Mr Anutin said.
According to sources, Mr Anutin and other key Bhumjaithai figures, including secretary-general Saksayam Chidchob and deputy leader Chada Thaiset joined Gen Prawit for lunch at the Foundation for the Conservation of Forests in Five Adjoining Provinces in the compound of the 1st Infantry Regiment in Bangkok on Wednesday. They said the participants discussed how many seats they expected to win and which other parties, such as the Democrats, they would need to bring into a coalition.
The sources said that the attendees expected the PPRP and Bhumjaithai to win at least 70 House seats each for a combined total of about 140.
If the Democrat Party and the Chartthaipattana Party are brought in, the attendees expected to secure a combined 203 seats, which would be enough to form a coalition government, the sources said.
Gen Prawit also told the attendees that the party that wins the most seats would get the prime minister post, the sources said.
Meanwhile, Atavit Suwanpakdee, deputy leader of the Chartpattanakla Party, said yesterday that the Administrative Court had accepted a petition filed by the party against the Election Commission's redrawn constituency map for Bangkok.
He said the party disagreed with the redrawn map as it will throw Bangkok's constituency boundaries into disarray. He said the court is expected to deliver a ruling before the May 14 election.
A source said the court has also accepted similar petitions for Sukhothai and Sakon Nakhon.