Don’t take bait, MFP warns PT

Don’t take bait, MFP warns PT

Pheu Thai leader Dr Cholnan Srikaew, left, is with Move Forward Leader Pita Limjaroenrat after a meeting of eight coalition parties at the MFP headquarters in Bangkok on July 2. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Pheu Thai leader Dr Cholnan Srikaew, left, is with Move Forward Leader Pita Limjaroenrat after a meeting of eight coalition parties at the MFP headquarters in Bangkok on July 2. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The Move Forward Party (MFP) has urged Pheu Thai (PT) to reverse its decision to end their political alliance, initially forged with an aim for them to work together in forming a new coalition government.

In a Facebook post intended for Pheu Thai, MFP list-MP Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn referred to Pheu Thai as a friend who was being lured into jumping ship by the conservative camp.

“Mate, don’t ever get in a car with them. They will trick you into travelling to the mountain top where you will eventually be gunned down. Run away and return to the ship real quick. We’re waiting for you here,” he wrote.

When the MFP and Pheu Thai were together in the eight-party alliance, they together had 312 MP seats in hand, while the conservative camp only has 188 MPs, said Mr Wiroj.

And even if counting altogether only the number of MFP and Pheu Thai MPs, the total number of MPs the two parties had together still was as high as 292, meaning they would have a better chance to win over the conservative side in all respects, he said.

And even though MFP and Pheu Thai might find it hard to win a prime ministerial vote needing substantial support from the Senate, the two parties would still have exceptional strength to wrestle with the conservative camp in parliament if they remain united, he said.

Mr Wiroj said he believed Pheu Thai must have been offered a persuasive deal before they decided to go their own way last Wednesday.

Now that Pheu Thai and the MFP are apart, Pheu Thai should be aware that it only has 141 MPs in hand while the conservative camp has 188 MPs, meaning that Pheu Thai’s negotiating power has dropped dramatically as it seeks to form the new government, said Mr Wiroj.

That leaves the door open for the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) and the United Thai Nation Party (UTN) to become a part of the Pheu Thai-led coalition, particularly due to their influence over some senators, he said.

Pheu Thai also is also now losing support from the red-shirt United Front for Democracy (UDD) which supported the party for a long time until it broke away from the pro-democracy camp, he said.

Mr Wiroj also said he was wondering if Pheu Thai is afraid of losing its justification for continuing to lead the formation of the new government if it fails to gain Senate support and loses the prime ministerial vote.

“Don’t they ever wonder whether the mountaintop which they are being taken to is actually an execution ground?” asked Mr Wiroj.

In the best-case scenario, even if Pheu Thai succeeds in forming the new coalition, it won’t have much power as that will be in the hands of the conservative camp, said Mr Wiroj.

Meanwhile, Anusorn Iamsa-ard, a Pheu Thai list-MP, cited the latest update from the its negotiating team, as he argued the party still has a strong hand.

Forming a coalition government is never easy and Pheu Thai won’t be pressured to accept any conditions it can’t really come to terms with, Mr Anusorn said.

“Pheu Thai remains firm in its stance that Gen Prayut [Chan-o-cha] and Gen Prawit [Wongsuwon] must not be a part of the new coalition the party is forming,” he said.

In another development, political activist and former senator Ruangkrai Leekitwattana said he will petition the Senate to look into alleged tax evasion by property developer Sansiri in August 2019 when Srettha Thavisin was its president.

Political activist Chuvit Kamolvisit last week pointed out that Sansiri paid only 59.2 million baht in tax for a transaction instead of the 521 million baht required.

Mr Srettha is Pheu Thai’s prime ministerial candidate and will be nominated for the prime ministerial vote in parliament.

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