Pheu Thai criticises lukewarm reaction to House speaker plan

Pheu Thai criticises lukewarm reaction to House speaker plan

The wrangle over the House speaker position has taken a new turn as the Pheu Thai Party may not be so keen on the Move Forward Party (MFP) filling the role after all, after it apparently displayed a lukewarm reaction to the Pheu Thai proposal.

In its latest proposal, Pheu Thai would support MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat's bid to become prime minister.

But if Mr Pita failed to secure sufficient support from senators during a vote, he must step aside and allow Pheu Thai to try to form a coalition government.

In return, Pheu Thai would not compete with the MFP in the bid for the House speaker role and instead aim to fill the two deputy speaker roles, Pheu Thai sources said.

The proposal was reportedly agreed upon by key figures of the parties during a meeting on Thursday at Pheu Thai's headquarters.

However, in the latest development, another Pheu Thai source said the MFP has yet to give a definitive answer to whether it will agree to the proposal.

"Pheu Thai key figures have not been able to contact MFP key figures so far," the source said, adding MFP's Patipat Suntiphada was introduced as a House speaker candidate to locals in Phitsanulok on Friday during Mr Pita's visit to the province.

"This is tantamount to disrespecting us because the parties have not reached a formal conclusion on [who gets the speaker position] yet," the source said.

Pheu Thai key figures agreed that a meeting with MFP, originally scheduled for Sunday, should be postponed, and Pheu Thai will hold an internal discussion on the matter again, the source added.

Deputy Pheu Thai leader Phumtham Wechayachai said on Saturday that a team of the party's negotiators have not met for new talks with the MFP. "Therefore, [overall] talks have not produced any clear results yet."

However, the Pheu Thai executive committee will meet on Monday to thrash out the issue and the result will be relayed during a meeting of party MPs later the same day before the party makes its final stance public, he said.

He also said the House speaker issue is unlikely to be discussed at the meeting of the eight prospective coalition parties scheduled for Sunday.

It will only discuss preparations for the transfer of power to the new government, he said.

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