PM reassures allies about early election
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has told government coalition partners there would be no reason for him to dissolve the House if they cooperate with each other.
The premier made the remark over dinner at the Rajpruek Club in Bangkok with the leaders of coalition parties, big and small, on Thursday, according to Thai Rak Tham Party leader Peerawit Ruangluedolapak. It was seen as an attempt to consolidate the coalition.
He said Gen Prayut also asked the coalition to evaluate the government's performance to see if any improvements could be made, and urged them to focus on their work.
Mr Peerawit said the Bhumjaithai Party proposed they meet on a monthly basis for closer cooperation which could help avoid misunderstanding.
He and the leaders of several micro-parties insisted the meeting did not touch on the subject of a cabinet reshuffle or a censure debate.
Ravee Maschamadol, leader of the New Palangdharma Party, said there were no demands for cabinet seats from small parties and the next election was not raised.
He said he believed the government would be more stable and hoped the prime minister would meet with small parties more often.
New Economics Party leader Manoon Siwapiromrat said the planned no-confidence debate was not discussed and expressed confidence in Gen Prayut's ability to lead the country.
Gen Prayut said no agreement was made on Thursday with the coalition parties and the discussion centred on government projects to help the public.
The gathering came after Gen Prayut hosted a dinner for the four main coalition partners last week and Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) leader Prawit Wongsuwon held talks with micro parties early this week.
All coalition parties showed up on Thursday except New Democracy Party leader Suratin Picharn who reportedly had other engagements.
A group of former PPRP MPs led by Capt Thamanat Prompow who defected to the Setthakij Thai Party did not attend. Gen Prawit said earlier they had not been invited.