PPRP exec wants to keep old coalition together
Chaiwut says current partners work well together and could fend off Pheu Thai after election
published : 23 Mar 2023 at 16:55
writer: Post Reporters
The political parties of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon and other existing partners should stick together to form the next coalition government, says a deputy leader of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP).
Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said he favoured such an arrangement because none of the parties in the current coalition would be able to secure a landslide on its own.
The opposition Pheu Thai Party is widely expected to win the most seats in the May 14 vote. Its key figures have been urging the public to give the party a “landslide” so that it can form the next government.
Pheu Thai is expected to win well over 100 seats, and there is an outside chance that Gen Prawit’s PPRP might also reach triple digits, though many of its members have defected to other parties, mostly to Pheu Thai or Gen Prayut’s United Thai Nation (UTN) Party.
The most recent opinion poll conducted by the National Institude of Development Administration (Nida) shows Pheu Thai is preferred by nearly 50% of respondents. PPRP and UTN combined have just under 14%.
“Signs are clear that the old coalition parties want their collaboration to continue because of their good teamwork,” Mr Chaiwut said on Thursday.
He said representatives of coalition parties shared meals regularly and did not do so with representatives of any opposition party.
One recent get-together that has drawn a lot of attention involved Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul, who joined Gen Prawit for lunch along with a handful of other top Bhumjaithai figures. Thai media have reported that the participants discussed how many seats they expected to win and which other parties, such as the Democrats, they would need to bring into a coalition.
Top Bhumjaithai figures also met separately with Gen Prayut.
Asked about the significance of the meetings, Mr Chaiwut said that both retired generals were on the same side.
If that was true, reporters asked him, why were Gen Prayut and Gen Prawit still not in the same political party? He declined to answer.
Mr Chaiwut said the PPRP should win about 150 House seats because it had 150 highly qualified candidates. He declined to elaborate on the number of representatives expected separately from party list and constituency candidates.