Srettha Thavisin, a Pheu Thai Party candidate for prime minister, has reaffirmed his support for Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat's bid for premiership.
Mr Srettha reiterated his stance on Friday in response to reports of an agreement between both parties. According to the agreement, the MFP would take the House speaker post, with the condition that if Mr Pita failed to get sufficient votes in the parliamentary meeting to select the new prime minister, the two parties would remain united and Pheu Thai would have its turn to form the next government.
Mr Srettha said he believed this process would have a satisfactory ending because "we adhere to the principle that the 'democracy' side would continue to stick together and work together."
Asked to comment on a report that Pheu Thai would take the prime ministership in case the MFP does not receive enough votes from senators, the Pheu Thai candidate did not provide a direct response, saying he is not in the party's negotiating team. He said such matters should be addressed by the party leader (Cholnan Srikaew) and the secretary-general (Prasert Chantararuangthong) who are part of the negotiating team.
When asked if he would be ready to be prime minister if Mr Pita's bid was unsuccessful, Mr Srettha said he had not considered the matter, adding that there must first be the selection of the speaker of the House of Representatives.
"First of all, we have to try to push for Mr Pita to be prime minister because Move Forward has more votes," he said.
"Let's do it step by step. Today, we must concentrate on the selection of the House speaker and then on Mr Pita's being selected to be prime minister. I hope there would not be any obstacles."
On Thursday, the Secretariat of the House of Representatives issued a letter asking all MPs to attend the first House session on July 4, as the selection of the new House speaker will take place on that day.
On Friday, Mr Srettha, along with two Pheu Thai MPs for Nakhon Phanom — Monphorn Charoensri and Phumphat Phatcharasap — and other party members, visited a groundwater bank project in tambon Ban Pheung, Muang district of Nakhon Phanom province. The underground bank was aimed at tackling drought.
The Pheu Thai candidate also met business operators at Nakhon Phanom customs checkpoint to discuss border trade economy and challenges that would be used for developing plans to upgrade the cross-border trade.