Nearly three months after the election to the lower house on May 14, Thailand has yet to form a new government.
The two largest parties in the new parliament, the Progressive Movement (MFP) and For Thai (Pheu Thai), formed a coalition with six more parties, but their candidate for prime minister – MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat – failed to win the election because Win at least 376 votes out of 500 seats in the lower house and 250 seats in the upper house if unsuccessful.
A majority of the House of Representatives voted not to allow this candidate for re-election. Thus the MFP withdrew from the coalition, giving Phu Thai the power to form the government.
Phu Thai has now formed a coalition with eight other parties, including Bhumjaithai, which has been in power with the Sena’s party in the recent past.
However, the new alliance still desperately needs the support of other parties in the lower house and members of the upper house. Notably, the people elect only 500 members of the lower house while the military appoints 250 members of the upper house and the prime minister is elected by both houses.
This was a strategy devised by the military so that even if his party and its allies were defeated in the parliamentary elections, they would still have decisive influence in power.
The results of the recent parliamentary elections in Thailand show that the majority of voters in this country do not want the military to continue to rule.
In 2014, the military overthrew the Phu Thai Party government in a coup. Now, Phu Thai is again trying to form a coalition government with eight other parties.
The military and its allies have no chance of staying in power after the recent parliamentary election results, but they will not sit idly by. Therefore, the chances of the nine-party coalition led by Phu Thai getting support votes from the upper house in the upcoming prime ministerial election are slim.
The military may allow Pheu Thai to return to power this time, but that does not mean they will allow Pheu Thai to rule in peace.
The history of this country has shown that parliamentary elections are not so much decisive for government and political stability as the influence of the royal family and the state of the army.
The impasse over the formation of a new government in Thailand is still difficult to resolve because of another sensitive issue, which is whether or not to amend the existing law on punishing statements or actions critical and scandalous of the royal family.
The MFP party advocated the amendment of that law, therefore it won the highest vote percentage in the last parliamentary election. But this is also because the eight-party coalition led by this party does not have the support of some other parties and the majority of the members of the upper house.
Phu Thai now has to pledge not to amend the law in order to get at least 376 votes for his prime ministerial candidate.
This shows that not only is it difficult and complicated to form a new government in Thailand, but it is equally difficult for the new government to manage that it is not short-lived.
Phu Thai “Closes the Deal”
The Bangkok Post newspaper quoted a source as saying that the Phu Thai Party has reached an agreement with two parties, the Palang Prakarath Party (People’s Power – PPRP) and the United Thai Nation (United Thailand – UTN). In exchange for the support of Phu Thai’s prime ministerial candidate Shretha Thavisin, both parties would receive a number of posts in the new government.
According to the source, with official approval from both parties, the Phu Thai-led coalition would have 315 parliamentary seats. In which Pheu Thai has 141 seats, Bhumjaithai (Pride of Thailand) has 71 seats, PPRP has 40 seats, UTN has 36 seats, Charthaipattan (Developed Thai Country) has 10 seats, Prachachat (National People) has 9 seats. The seats are.. Pheu Thai’s deputy leader, Phumtham Vechaichai, admitted that the party had no choice but to bring the PPRP and UTN into the coalition “for the sake of stability”.
Earlier, on 7 August, the two parties that won the second and third most seats in the Thai general election, Phu Thai and Bhumjaithai, announced their efforts to form a new coalition government. According to Phu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew, the party has openly sought support from “members of all parties or any party” for its prime ministerial candidate. The leader of the Phu Thai party also confirmed that the new coalition does not include the Progressive Party (MFP) – the party that won the last election.
Following Phu Thai’s statements, MFP secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon said party MPs would discuss whether to support Phu Thai’s prime ministerial candidate on 15 August.