Anutin remains coy ahead of final Green Line vote
Anutin Charnvirakul, leader of the coalition's Bhumjaithai Party, has pledged the party's continued support for the Prayut administration.
He was responding to media reports that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha last Friday asked him for support during an opposition-led House scrutiny debate scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday.
Mr Anutin said it was a coalition partner's job to work in support of the government and pointed out that Gen Prayut had not made any specific requests of him.
"The prime minister urged everyone to do their part to help things run smoothly," he noted.
He said the Bhumjaithai Party would also support the prime minister in the upcoming debate and backed Gen Prayut assertion that he had never acted against. or given instructions that were contrary to, policy statements declared before parliament.
When asked about reports that the government had about 260 votes it could rely on, Mr Anutin said he did not know where the number came from, but would still do his best to maintain stability.
Gen Prayut's reported call for support came after a series of House sessions collapsed which he believes have been disruptive to government business.
Mr Anutin, however, refused to offer unequivocal support for Gen Prayut until the result of the cabinet's meeting today to decide whether to give the go ahead to the proposed Green Line concession extension was known.
Seven Bhumjaithai cabinet members were absent from last week's cabinet meeting in what was perceived to be a show of dissent over a proposal he said was a matter of disagreement between the Interior Ministry and the Transport Ministry.
He said if the two ministries were unable to iron out their differences, the prime minister would have to make the final call, he said.
Meanwhile, Gen Prayut yesterday denied singling out Mr Anutin and claimed instead that he had called on all members of the cabinet to pull together and steer the country out of its current economic doldrums.
"I don't remember when I said that. I asked everyone in the coalition government to help to move the country forward. There is no political issue," he said.
Suchart Chomklin, the labour minister and director of the Palang Pracharath Party, expressed confidence that the coalition government would complete its term despite the expulsion of 21 PPRP MPs.
He also said he and the party were working towards making the PPRP a stronger political institution.