Battle for coveted speaker post rages on

Battle for coveted speaker post rages on

Chaithawat: Praises Phumtham's stance
Chaithawat: Praises Phumtham's stance

The battle over who gets the House speaker post is to continue after Pheu Thai on Monday denied agreeing to let the Move Forward Party take the position as recently claimed by MFP secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon.

Pheu Thai deputy leader Phumtham Wechayachai on Monday said both parties have yet to agree on the matter, despite claiming on Sunday that the MFP had agreed to give Pheu Thai two deputy House speaker posts in exchange for the House speaker position.

He backtracked on his statement, saying he was merely stating his belief that the House speaker position should go to the party that won the most votes in the May 14 election.

However, by the time he issued the clarification, Mr Chaithawat had already thanked Pheu Thai for agreeing to step aside and let his party take the position, commending it for taking the initiative.

The MFP, which is expected to have 151 seats in parliament, and Pheu Thai, with 141 seats under its wing, are putting together a government with six small and micro parties.

Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew also said on Monday that further talks are needed to thrash out the issue.

Dr Cholnan said the parties have yet to reach a conclusive agreement on who would get the House speakership.

"We haven't talked about it. It's something we've touched on in talks within our own party," the Pheu Thai leader said.

Mr Phumtham said on Sunday a deal was badly needed to minimise post-election uncertainties.

"It's for the sake of smoothening the government's formation. People are waiting eagerly to see changes in the country," he said.

Also on Monday, the National Anti-Corruption Commission said it has not yet received MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat's assets and liabilities declaration, which he was required to file upon leaving office as an MP on Jan 20, despite the submission deadline on Sunday.

NACC secretary-general Niwatchai Kasemmongkol said so far, 335 people whose status as MPs ended had declared their assets.

Forty-two others have asked for an extension, and another five, including Mr Pita, have neither submitted their documents nor sought a deadline extension.

Those who failed to declare must explain to the NACC, he said.

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