Forest Party could walk away from PPRP bloc

Forest Party could walk away from PPRP bloc

Seeks to protect forests: Thai Forest Conservation Party leader Damrong Pidech (left) gestures as he talks to reporters about a possible pullout from the Palang Pracharath Party-led coalition.
Seeks to protect forests: Thai Forest Conservation Party leader Damrong Pidech (left) gestures as he talks to reporters about a possible pullout from the Palang Pracharath Party-led coalition.

The Thai Forest Conservation Party (TFCP) has threatened to leave the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP)-led bloc which is forming the government if the post of natural resources and environment minister falls into the hands of a party other than the PPRP.

TFCP leader Damrong Pidech said on Friday the PPRP had promised him he would be able to work with the ministry and carry out the job of promoting good practices in forest management and supporting forest communities.

Some reports suggest the post of natural resources and environment minister will be allocated to the Chartthaipattana Party, a PPRP coalition partner, with Varawut Silpa-archa reportedly set for the seat.

Mr Damrong said more than 100,000 people voted for the TFCP in the belief the party would work to protect and conserve natural resources -- its flagship policy.

He said he was approached by both the PPRP and Pheu Thai Party to join their blocs. Mr Damrong said he chose the PPRP on account of the promise it gave him that he would have a part to play in working with the ministry on forest management.

"My party was selected from people who wanted me to protect the forests. That's the only thing I'm determined to pursue," he said.

He said the Chartthaipattana Party has plenty of ministries to choose from.

"If the PPRP doesn't supervise the ministry, I will leave the coalition bloc and free up the TFCP to be an independent opposition party," he said.

Mr Damrong said his decision whether to remain with the PPRP-led camp will be announced after the cabinet line-up is finalised.

He insisted he is not one to make a fuss, "But a good boy who has no job to do."

A source in the PPRP-led bloc said Mr Damrong was offered the role of assistant to the natural resources and environment minister with the authority to take care of departments in charge of forest policies.

Meanwhile, a source said the 10 small parties which are among the PPRP-led coalition partners are highly unlikely to be given any cabinet seats.

However, they are expected to be offered the positions of secretary, adviser or assistant to a cabinet minister, according to the source.

On Thursday, the 10 parties submitted the names of their party leaders to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who is considering what posts in the government they will get.


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