Major parties hose down alliance plan
Political parties have poured cold water on calls for the two largest parties to combine forces to keep out a non-elected premier from the next government, saying it is too early for talks of an alliance.
Heavyweights in the Chartthaipattana, Democrat and the Pheu Thai parties agreed it was premature to discuss an alliance between the Democrats and Pheu Thai to keep a non-MP prime minister at bay in the next government.
Warawut Silpa-archa, core member of Chartthaipattana, said the government's ban on political activities has yet to be lifted, which means such talks should wait.
The parties have other more immediate concerns on their minds, including whether they will be able to review their membership databases in time for the Jan 5 deadline. They were worried that if they cannot get the job done in time, they might be wound up.
"It's not the time for the Chartthaipattana Party to be taking a stand on the issue (of the two large parties setting up a government together)," he said.
Chartthaipattana, as a medium-sized party, would rather leave it to the Democrats and Pheu Thai to decide when the time comes whether they want to form a government together or not, Mr Warawut said.
"Other parties will choose whether they want us in the government," he said, adding the number of MPs which Chartthaipattana wins in the next poll will decide where it stands.
The possibility of the Democrats and Pheu Thai, the two largest parties which are traditionally rivals, forming an alliance was raised on Sunday by Democrat deputy leader Nipit Intarasombat and Pheu Thai key figure Chaturon Chaisang at a seminar organised by the Thai Journalists Association.
Mr Nipit said although the prospect of the two parties working together seems remote, it is still a possibility if they put aside their grudges.
According to the National Council for Peace and Order's roadmap, the next general election could take place by November next year.
At the seminar, Pheu Thai key figure Chaturon Chaisaeng insisted the alliance was worth exploring if it meant a non-elected outsider could be prevented from becoming prime minister.
Pheu Thai Party secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai said Monday that the party would not want to commit to such arrangements just yet.
He noted, however, that Mr Chaturon was not being specific about what parties should forge an alliance.
Under current political circumstances, it was essential that parties which stick to democratic principles join hands to fight any attempt by the military regime to cling on to power.
Democrat secretary-general Juti Krairiksh said the the views expressed by Mr Nipit and Mr Chaturon at the seminar did not represent those of their parties, he said.
What should be given first priority right now is bread and butter matters.
The Democrats are reserving their position at this stage as they have no idea what Pheu Thai's election campaign policies will be and if such policies would be acceptable to them.
The Democrats are also in the dark over who will lead Pheu Thai.