Srettha assures coalition bloc 'intact'

Srettha assures coalition bloc 'intact'

Srettha: To organise 'dinner party'
Srettha: To organise 'dinner party'

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin moved to allay concerns about a rift among the coalition parties on Wednesday, insisting the bloc remains intact despite signs of disagreements between some partners.

He said he would treat all members of the bloc to dinner yesterday, noting such occasions ideally should be organised at least once a month or every two months, so coalition members can exchange ideas or express concerns over ongoing developments.

Mr Srettha's remarks came amid reports of a conflict within the government coalition over a recent decision by the Commerce Ministry to peg the price of sugar. The ministry is controlled by Pheu Thai -- but the Industry Ministry, which is responsible for maintaining the domestic sugar supply, is under the control of the United Thai Nation Party.

There were also reports of a conflict relating to the distribution of agencies under the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, which prompted Deputy Agriculture Minister Chaiya Promma, a Pheu Thai member, to criticise Agriculture Minister Thammanat Prompow, who is a Palang Pracharath Party member.

The conflict forced Deputy Prime Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, who is also deputy leader of Pheu Thai, to step in to clear the air. Mr Srettha on Wednesday said he wanted to keep the coalition party dinner a small, intimate affair, with about 10 people invited.

Separately, a Pheu Thai source said Mr Srettha was grilled at a meeting on Tuesday, for the lack of progress in rolling out the party's campaign pledges, which includes the 10,000-baht digital wallet scheme. Mr Sretta will go before the public to explain the scheme in coming days.

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