Talks with Move Forward on Srettha 'inconclusive'
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Talks with Move Forward on Srettha 'inconclusive'

Paetongtarn: Waits for a clear answer
Paetongtarn: Waits for a clear answer

The Move Forward Party (MFP) gave no clear answer on Wednesday as to whether it will vote for the Pheu Thai Party's prime ministerial candidate in parliament, according to Paetongtarn Shinawatra, head of the Pheu Thai Party Family.

Pheu Thai, led by Ms Paetongtarn and other party heavyweights, including its leader Cholnan Srikaew, deputy leader Phumtham Wechayachai, and secretary-general Prasert Chantararuangthong, met the MFP for talks on Wednesday.

The Pheu Thai team walked from their office on Phetchaburi Road to the MFP's headquarters nearby. The parties chatted for around 90 minutes.

The MFP team was led by party leader Pita Limjaroenrat, deputy leaders Sirikanya Tansakul and Pijarn Chaowapatthanawong, and secretary-general Thawatchai Tulathon.

It was the first time that Pheu Thai has reached out to the MFP for help in voting for its prime ministerial candidate, Srettha Thavisin.

Pheu Thai has two other candidates: Ms Paetongtarn and Chaikasem Nitisiri.

It has replaced the MFP as the party leading efforts to form a coalition government after Mr Pita's bid to become prime minister failed to garner sufficient support from the Senate.

Pheu Thai has since scrapped the memorandum of understanding (MoU) it signed with the MFP and other parties regarding the formation of the next government.

That also frees it to pursue other suitors, as most parties have now vowed not to join any coalition featuring the MFP due to the latter's stance on reforming the lese majeste law.

Parties in the previous coalition -- Bhumjaithai, Palang Pracharath, United Thai and the Democrat Party -- are all against amending Section 112 of the Criminal Code.

At the same time, Pheu Thai and the MFP were thought to have suffered a bitter split after Pheu Thai suggested it could no longer work with the party.

But by turning to the MFP, Pheu Thai is seen as potentially being concerned it may not be able to mobilise enough senators to vote for Mr Srettha.

Pheu Thai said if the MFP agrees to back Mr Srettha, it would not need the Senate's vote to get its candidate through.

For a prime ministerial candidate to pull through, they must receive the support of at least 376 MPs and senators.

Emerging from Wednesday's talks, Ms Paetongtarn said the MFP gave no clear indication of whether it would support Pheu Thai's prime ministerial candidate in parliament.

"I think we might have to wait a bit longer [for the answer]," she said.

Mr Pita also described Wednesday's talks as inconclusive. He said the two parties would remain on amicable terms in parliament.

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