The Pheu Thai Party is still locking horns with the Move Forward Party over the House Speaker position, insisting the position be filled by one of its candidates ahead of a scheduled meeting on Tuesday to thrash out a solution to the dispute.
Pheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Chantararuangthong said on Monday that the House Speaker role should be filled by Pheu Thai's candidate.
"As the MFP wants to take the prime minister post, the House Speaker role should belong to Pheu Thai," Mr Prasert said.
"It should be left to the two parties to thrash out the issue as it has nothing to do with other coalition partners," he added.
Mr Prasert later said that Pheu Thai and the MFP have decided that the House speakership issue will be discussed by only the two parties at Tuesday's meeting.
The dispute over who should get the House Speaker position has raged on for days in interviews and on social media, prompting MFP leader and prime minister candidate Pita Limjaroenrat on Friday to call on the coalition partners to remain united and settle the matter in a dialogue.
Chaithawat Tulathon, MFP secretary-general in his capacity as the party's coordinator in the talks to form an MFP-led coalition, had earlier said the discussion is expected to begin at 2.30pm on Tuesday at the Prachachart Party's headquarters.
Mr Pita is urging all coalition parties to cooperate, Mr Chaithawat said.
The meeting was initially intended to serve as a forum for the parties to discuss who will implement parts of a memorandum of understanding jointly signed on May 22, he said.
The MoU, signed by MFP and its coalition partners, sets out the policies they have agreed on.
However, a source at Pheu Thai said that the party disagreed with the MFP's move to include other coalition partners in the discussion on the House Speaker role.
"It is a matter between the two parties. Pheu Thai believes the MFP wants to use other coalition partners to pressure Pheu Thai," the source said.
"Pheu Thai also disagreed with the MFP's unilateral decision to hold the discussion at the Prachachart's headquarters."
Mr Chaithawat said on Monday that he wanted the MFP and Pheu Thai to stop talking about the issue in media interviews or on social media to avoid stoking conflict and causing further confusion.
However, he said that Prachachart leader Wan Muhamad Nor Matha, a former House Speaker, had suggested the role be filled by the party that won the most House seats in the May 14 election. Meanwhile, the two deputy House Speaker positions should be candidates from parties that won the second and third largest seats.
Mr Chaithawat went on to say Tuesday's meeting will also discuss the plan to set up a committee to ensure a smooth transition of power so the new government can get down to work immediately.
Commenting on the dispute over the House Speaker post, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said that every political party wants the House Speaker role as it is the symbol of leadership of the legislative branch.
Mr Wissanu also said that the House Speaker must maintain neutrality during parliament meetings, and any MP who takes the role must resign as a party leader or executive first.
The House Speaker is one of the most important roles in politics as the speaker oversees House meetings and agendas.
If the MFP wishes to push its legislative initiatives and fulfil its campaign promises, it needs to take control of the post.
Meanwhile, Senator Somchai Swangkarn said the senators will weigh carefully the issues that each prime ministerial candidate will be focusing on before the vote for the next prime minister.
He indicated some decisions by senators could be based on issues in the MoU.
Some issues agreeable to some senators might be given more weight over others in their consideration before voting, he said.