The Pheu Thai Party leader has said if the election-winning Move Forward Party (MFP) is part of its coalition alliance, it is unlikely to win enough parliamentary support to elect a prime minister and form the next government.
Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew said on Sunday that over the past two days Pheu Thai discussed the eight-party alliance's government formation efforts with political parties outside its bloc and determined that the other parties will not support the effort if the alliance includes a party that plans to change the lese majeste law, Section 112 of the Criminal Code that punishes anyone deemed to have criticised senior members of the royal family with up to 15 years in prison.
Dr Cholnan was apparently referring to the MFP, the other main member of the eight-party alliance.
The eight-party alliance had a majority of 312 votes in the elected House, but needed at least 375 votes from both the House and the military-appointed Senate to have a prime minister installed and then a new government established. Of the joint sitting of both houses comprising 500 representatives and 249 senators, 375 will form a minimal majority vote.
Most senators already showed they did not support the MFP when its leader Pita Limjaroenrat failed to win a majority vote from a joint sitting to become prime minister on July 13 and again on July 19.
After meeting key figures of the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) on Sunday evening, Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew said PPRP was another political party that would not support the coalition if it included any party that planned to amend the lese majeste law.
"Most parties (that Pheu Thai met) are unlikely to vote in favour of the coalition alliance," the Pheu Thai leader said. He denied that Pheu Thai was inviting any political party outside its eight-party bloc to join their coalition government.
Dr Cholnan admitted that if the coalition alliance still comprises the same old eight parties, other parties will not support the coalition in the parliament. He also confessed that the coaltion would need at least 375 votes from the House and the Senate.
On Monday Pheu Thai would discuss the matter with representatives of senators and on Tuesday it would report its findings to the seven other parties in its coalition alliance, Dr Cholnan said. He expected the eight coalition allies to reach a conclusion on Tuesday.
"We will have a joint announcement on the government formation. We have two days, July 25 and 26, and on July 27 (Thursday) it will be known who will be nominated (for prime minister) in the parliament," Dr Cholnan said.