Report of Pheu Thai-PPRP 'secret deal' denied
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Report of Pheu Thai-PPRP 'secret deal' denied

Phumtham Wechayachai, a deputy leader of the Pheu Thai party.
Phumtham Wechayachai, a deputy leader of the Pheu Thai party.

There is no "secret deal" between Pheu Thai and Palang Pracharath parties to form a government with Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, the PPRP leader, as prime minister, Pheu Thai deputy leader Phumtham Wechayachai said on Monday.

Mr Phumtham was responding to a report quoting Wirach Ratanasate, a PPRP deputy leader, as saying that such a deal had been reached between some members of Pheu Thai and PPRP.

He said only the party's executive committee had the authority to decide which parties Pheu Thai would join with to form a government, based on the number of MPs each party had.

"What we need today is for the party to win 310 House seats straight up. The problem is the 250 senators who stand to block us forming a government.

"If with 310 or more MPs on hand, there would be no reason for Pheu Thai to join up with many other parties. If there were to be other parties in the coalition, they would be in the pro-democracy bloc, or parties in the former opposition," Mr Phumtham said.

He added: "I want to ask whether Mr Wirach was daydreaming. The executive committee never made such a resolution. We are walking steadily toward being a party big enough to counter the senate's power in forming the government. We have never approached or made an agreement with Mr Wirach or anybody else. Pheu Thai's only aim today is to win by a landslide."

Mr Phumtham stressed that Pheu Thai no plan to join hands with PPRP in forming a government with Gen Prawit as prime minister.

"It is for the people to decide who should be in government. The party with the most MPs should get  priority, followed by the party next to it in size.

"We want to convince the people that we have a strong intention of forming a government, so as to be able to bring about change in society," he added.

Asked whether if Pheu Thai had the 310 MPs or more it needed, it would ask other parties to form a coalition, Mr Phumtham said that was possible because a strong government with a clear majority would need 376 MPs or more.

If that were the case, Pheu Thai would look to pro-democracy parties in the former opposition bloc whose policies were not contrary to its own. They should not try to bargain for cabinet portfolios, he added.

Mr Phumtham said he expected Pheu Thai to announce its candidates for the post of prime minister on the morning of April 4.

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