'Kingmakers' to decide on ally stance
All eyes will be on the Bhumjaithai and Democrat parties on Monday as both are scheduled to deliberate and possibly announce their alliance with either the Pheu Thai-led camp, or the so-called "pro-regime" camp.
The Bhumjaithai held a two-day orientation session which ended on Monday in Buri Ram -- its political stronghold -- to prepare 51 of its elected politicians to assume their new roles as MPs, as the first parliamentary session is set to be held on May 22. Present at the meeting was an official from the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), who was invited to talk to the MPs about the importance of declaring their assets and debts.
While the meeting is still going, it is widely believed Bhumjaithai's executives -- led by its leader Anutin Charnvirakul -- will discuss their stance on the issue of the forming the next coalition government once the orientation session concludes.
Meanwhile, Democrat leader Jurin Laksanavisit called a meeting of party executives to discuss the division of responsibilities and set up working panels ahead of the opening of the House session, said party spokesman Ramet Rattanachaweng.
Democrat candidates gained 52 seats in the parliament.
Mr Ramet said that Democrat MPs will meet again tomorrow to discuss the party's working principles in parliament.
"That said, we have yet to set a date to decide on whether we will join a coalition government, or sit as the opposition," he said.
Secretary-general for Pheu Thai Phumtham Wechayachai on Sunday said the Pheu Thai-led alliance remains hopeful about the prospect of forming a coalition and stopping the regime's bid to prolong its stay in power.
On Facebook, Mr Phumtham said coalition negotiations are still ongoing, despite the fact that the pro-regime camp has been trying to create the image that the issue has been settled.
According to him, Pheu Thai also expects to "win" when the House of Representatives meets on May 25 to select the House speaker and its deputies.
Varawut Silpa-archa, chief of Chartthaipattana's strategic and policy committee, said the party is likely to hold a meeting on May 23 to discuss the political directions ahead of the meeting two days later.