Thanathorn in talks to form third political alliance to thwart Palang Pracharath Party

Thanathorn in talks to form third political alliance to thwart Palang Pracharath Party

Mid-size parties likely to gain prominent role

Thanathorn: Keeping mum
Thanathorn: Keeping mum

Reports of a fresh attempt to form a "third" political alliance to curtail attempts by the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) to form a government are ringing true after Future Forward Party (FFP) leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit admitted he is in talks with other parties.

"I'm not ready to give any information, now that we're in a process of talking," Mr Thanathorn said yesterday.

The FFP party leader insisted he needs to respect the views of politicians invited to join the new political league. "Revealing the details now would mean we don't respect them," Mr Thanathorn said.

Media reports say this third political alliance could nominate senior figures from middle-sized parties -- among them former Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul -- as prime ministerial candidates.

According to one report, the idea came from the Pheu Thai Party and the FFP after their to form a coalition government since the final results were announced.

Both anti-military parties made a U-turn to support Mr Abhisit and Mr Anutin, elbowing out the three candidates on Pheu Thai's list, most notably the party's chief strategist Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan.

The third political coalition is gaining support from small parties with anti-military government stances. "I really support this idea," said Rayut Bunthan, spokesman for the Puea Chat Party, perceived as being under the Pheu Thai Party's wing.

Mr Rayut said one key reason to extend an olive branch to the Democrat and Bhumjaithai parties is to keep 250 senators, appointed by the military regime, from joining the Lower House of 500 MPs to vote for the prime minister. "We need to join hands to fight against the military regime and oppose its plan to prolong power," Mr Rayut said.

Mr Abhisit yesterday denied being involved in serious discussions on the new alliance. The former Democrat leader said whatever political camp the Democrats choose will become clear after May 15 when the party votes for a new leader. He admitted that he recently spoke to Mr Anutin about many rumours, but insisted: "It was just light talk on the Line chat application."

Deputy PPRP leader Nataphol Teepsuwan said he believes the idea to endorse Mr Abhisit as prime minister unilaterally comes from the FFP. "But it is too soon to say whether the FFP's effort will bear fruit because that depends on appropriateness and probability," said Mr Natthapol.

Although Mr Abhisit opposes the endorsement as premier of Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, he has said he does not want to work with the Pheu Thai Party.

Meanwhile, 11 of the small political parties with just one MP have united to form their own bloc, said Thai Civilised Party leader Mongkonkit Suksintharanon, whose party is one of the 11. However, the bloc has not yet decided on which coalition they want to join, he said.

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