MFP vows it won't join 'inter-bloc' govt

MFP vows it won't join 'inter-bloc' govt

TST claims populist agendas fuel greed

A supporter waves a Move Forward flag at a rally that drew a large crowd to Samyan Mitrtown in Bangkok on April 22. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)
A supporter waves a Move Forward flag at a rally that drew a large crowd to Samyan Mitrtown in Bangkok on April 22. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

The Move Forward Party (MFP) will refrain from joining an "inter-bloc" coalition government after the upcoming election, according to Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, the party's campaign assistant.

Mr Piyabutr, during a campaign rally in Samut Sakhon on Monday, said people should not restrict their options to a few parties at the polls.

He said the MFP would avoid joining a government that resulted from "inter-bloc breeding".

Mr Piyabutr was apparently referring to a coalition with both pro-democracy and pro-dictatorship parties.

If such a mix was to occur in the formation of a government, Mr Piyabutr, a key Progressive Movement (PM) figure, said the MFP would rather be an opposition party.

He added that the party's popularity had grown leaps and bounds in several opinion polls despite critics petitioning against the party, trying to find wrongdoing.

He said public support has grown for MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat to become prime minister after the party outlined its priority tasks to be implemented in the first 100 days of an MFP government.

Meanwhile, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, PM chairman and an election campaign staffer of the MFP, admitted that if the MFP were to lead the next government, it would be faced with tough challenges.

Among such challenges were military reform to prevent future coups, devolving administrative powers and dismantling some monopolies in business held by major players.

He insisted that the government needs to invest more in new technologies and science, which are tools for sharpening the country's competitive edge in exports and job creation.

Mr Thanathorn dismissed the MFP being labelled a party of extremists, saying the party advocates policies in the name of progress.

'Populist cycle'

The Thai Sang Thai Party (TST) has slammed populist agendas being pursued by other parties for the upcoming election, saying they invite a vicious cycle fuelled by incessant greed that perpetuates corruption.

TST leader Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan said parties are competing over who can come up with the best populist policies with promises of giveaways and handouts at the expense of taxpayers.

Policies catering to public health, education and transport involve splurging, and the money will go back to big businesses, she said, adding that budget-intensive policies are prone to corruption.

Khunying Sudarat added the political conflict the country faces is likely to intensify after the next election.

The conflict pits the so-called pro-democracy camp against pro-dictatorship parties, she said, adding a continued conflict entails a risk of a future military coup.

The party has proposed that an assembly of people be elected to rewrite the constitution to make election rules fair for everyone.

Boosting funds

The National Village and Urban Community fund requires more promotion as a conduit to strengthen the grassroots economy, according to the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP).

Sontirat Sonthijirawong, the party's chief of the political strategy committee, made the remark after a meeting with fund executives in Khon Kaen on Monday.

The party was collecting input on how to improve the fund, which will be used as part of its campaign policy to alleviate debts for locals.

Mr Sontirat maintained that the fund is a major source of financial support in strengthening the local economy. The PPRP has pledged to inject 200,000 baht into each of the 79,610 national village and urban community funds nationwide.

It is estimated the injection, which spreads over six months, will require a budget of about 16 billion baht.

The funds are intended for managing water sources for both farming and consumption, processing farm produce, upgrading the quality of farm products and maintaining the Pracharath shops for young people.

'Change will come'

The Prachachart Party is banking on winning at least ten MP seats so it can make a difference in the country, assuming the so-called pro-democracy wing forms the next government.

Party leader Wan Muhamad Nor Matha said Prachachart is on course to expand from six MPs at present to at least ten seats in the next election, citing some opinion surveys.

If the party can capture more House seats as predicted, and the current opposition alliance led by the Pheu Thai Party assumes power, Prachachart will likely be part of the next administration and be allocated at least two cabinet portfolios.

"The upcoming election will usher in a change of government," he said.

The new administration will end problems that have been left unsolved, starting with a constitutional amendment to create a wholly democratic country, Mr Wan added.

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