The eight-party coalition on Tuesday resolved to set up a coordinating committee during the transition of power along with seven working groups to address major problems facing the country.
The touchy subject of the House speaker position, which the Move Forward and Pheu Thai parties both want, was not raised during the meeting.
Pita Limjaroenrat, the Move Forward leader and prime ministerial candidate, said the two parties would settle the speaker issue as soon as possible and it would not get in the way of government formation. The allocation of cabinet positions will also be discussed later, he said.
“We insist that our work is going well and we will stay united,” he said after the meeting, which was held at the headquarters of the Prachachat Party in Bangkok.
Mr Pita also said some government agencies had already approached Move Forward about meeting to discuss issues that could arise under a new administration.
This was an apparent response to a caution issued by caretaker Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who said the party that won the May 14 election shouldn’t be meeting with government agencies because it was not officially in government yet.
The transition team, chaired by Mr Pita, is made up of leading members from the eight parties. They were MFP deputy leader Sirikanya Tansakun, Pheu Thai deputy secretary-general Paopoom Rojanasakul, Prachachat secretary-general Tawee Sodsong, Thai Sang Thai secretary-general Anudit Nakornthap, Seri Ruamthai secretary-general Virat Varotsirin, Fair Party secretary-general Kanawee Suebsaeng, Pheu Thai Ruam Phalang leader Wasawat Poungponsri, and Palang Sangkhom Mai leader Chaorit Khajornpongkirati.
The next meeting will be held on June 6 at the Pheu Thai headquarters.
Key members of the eight coalition parties attend a meeting at the Prachachat Party headquarters on Tuesday. (Pool photo)
The coalition also agreed to set up seven working groups to address problems affecting people:
- electricity bills, diesel fuel and energy
- drought and El Nino
- southern unrest
- constitutional amendments
- environment and PM 2.5 dust
- SMEs and economy
- narcotics suppression.
Representatives from each party will sit on the working groups.
Mr Pita said the goal of the working groups was to bring about joint solutions to address problems and to scrutinise polices to be presented to parliament. The policies would be put into practice.
He insisted that the coalition was working smoothly and would do its utmost to solve people’s problems. Allocation of ministerial positions, he added, would take place after further collaboration among the eight parties and would focus on a people-centred approach.
The Election Commission (EC) has officially endorsed the election results but the certification of MPs-elect is still pending. Under the law, it has 60 days from Election Day to complete its task.
Mr Pita said people hoped that the EC would not take too much time to endorse the MPs-elect, so that a new government could be formed in a timely manner to pursue urgent agenda items for the sake of people.
Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew said the allocation of ministerial posts would be based on agenda assignments, knowledge and ability and the coalition would adhere to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) that they signed on May 22.
He and other participants at the meeting also downplayed various rumours, reports and tweets of different scenarios under which the coalition would collapse and Pheu Thai would be the lead party in new grouping.
He dismissed rumours about a “secret deal” to form another coalition led by Pheu Thai, saying the only deal is a “love deal” to form a true people’s government.
Srettha Thavisin, one of Pheu Thai’s three prime ministerial candidates, also denied rumours posted by former politician Chuvit Kamolvisit about a secret pact.
Mr Srettha tweeted his message after a photo of him and Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul at a Leicester City football match on Sunday in the UK circulated. The property tycoon-turned-politician said their encounter was a coincidence.
Pheu Thai will support the Move Forward-led coalition and has no plan to stake a claim to lead a new bloc, Mr Cholnan said.
“No matter what happens, we will stick together forever,” he said.
Prommin Lertsuridej, head of the Pheu Thai economic affairs committee, and other key party members attend the coalition meeting. (Pool photo)