Mongkolkit stands firm on 'people's MP' position

Mongkolkit stands firm on 'people's MP' position

Thai Civilized Party leader Mongkolkit Suksintaranont gestures after a briefing on his party's position in the coalition in Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)
Thai Civilized Party leader Mongkolkit Suksintaranont gestures after a briefing on his party's position in the coalition in Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)

The leader of the only microparty which pulled out of the coalition has insisted he will keep his word even as the executives of other small parties have been rewarded with executive positions in the government.

Mongkolkit Suksintaranont, leader of the Thai Civilized Party, held a briefing on Tuesday on his resentment and explained why his party pulled out of the coalition two months after it agreed to join it.

Thai Civilized was the only one of the 10 parties which did not get executive positions in the administration after he declared on Saturday he would leave the coalition to become a “people’s MP”.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the party said it had decided to join the Palang Pracharath-led coalition in the first place because it wanted to “switch on” Thailand so the country could quickly return to democracy, to push forward its policies for the people, and to get rid of Section 44 and create confidence among investors 

On why the one-MP party now turned its back on the coalition, the statement said as part of the coalition, it lacks independence to check the government. Besides, it was given very little time in the House even though its MP, Mr Mongkolkit himself, was the party’s leader.

“The PPRP did not treat us respectfully nor did it integrate our policies. In fact, it acted in opposition of our policies.”

The statement cited as an example a rush to help Airways International buy 38 planes worth 156 billion baht despite its burgeoning debts.

“THAI’s debts amount to 248 billion baht and in 2018 it posted losses of 12 billiion baht. Nobody can guarantee there will be no more losses if the planes are bought,” he said.

The statement also slammed Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana’s plan to increase state revenue by raising oil tax. “It pushes the burden on 67 million people and will sends cost of living through the roof.”

Handouts without fiscal discipline also aggravate public debt. “Such handouts can be given when we have a budget surplus.”

The statement also claimed the government might borrow the International Monetary Fund to refinance existing debts with Japan and offset a widening budget deficit, which would eventually force the sale of profitable state enterprises.

The statement also said senior members of the PPRP did not keep their word and are not sincere in solving problems.

Lastly, the statement cited as a reason for its retreat the incomplete oath-taking by the cabinet and the subsequent failure to show spirit to rectify the problem. 

Mr Mongkolkit insisted he and his party’s executives would not accept any executive position and would serve only as an MP to hear people’s problems.

Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha could still serve as prime minister, but he has to fix what was wrong first, he said without elaborating.

Finally, he insisted as an independent MP, he would stand by the people to the best of his ability.

“We will support what’s right and will warn if we see anything wrong and we’ll help find a solution,” he said.

Also on Tuesday, nine other microparties, together with Deputy Agriculture Minister Thamanat Prompow, held a briefing to announce they would remain with the coalition after vice-minister seats and other executive positions were allocated to them. 

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