By Linda Khoo
BANGKOK, May 13 (Bernama) -- Eleven small Thai parties that gained a parliamentary seat each in the March 24 general election today announced that they are teaming up with the pro-junta Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) to form a government.
The 11 Members of Parliament also agreed to vote for General Prayuth Chan-o-cha as prime minister to lead the country.
Ponlamuang Thai Party leader Sampan Lertnuwat said all the 11 MPs agreed to lend support to PPRP and Prayuth to form the government for the country to move forward.
“We will help to check on PPRP in governing the country,” he said at a press conference here today.
Following the announcement today, Prayuth is likely to remain as prime minister and form a new government in early June.
Based on the official results announced by Election Commission (EC) on May 8, the “democratic front” of seven parties led by Pheu Thai, the party linked to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, won a combined 245 Lower House seats, six short of a majority.
PPRP won 115 seats in the 500-member House of Representatives, while Forward Party (FFP) (80), Democrat (52) and Bhumjaithai (51). Following the announcement of these 11 MPs, PPRP, which backs Prayuth, has 126 seats.
Today’s announcement will see PPRP getting 376 votes, if all the 250 Senate members handpicked by the junta voted for Prayuth to be the next prime minister.
Last week, Pheu Thai and its allies vowed to take legal action to reverse the EC party-list calculation as it is favourable to PPRP.
A total of 13 small parties were awarded with one party-list seat. This has reduced the number of seats of opposition Democratic Front.
PPRP leader Uttama Savanayana and secretary-general Sonthirat Sonthijirawong were present at the press conference today.
Uttama rubbished allegations that PPRP offered ministerial posts to all MPs who joined the party.
“There is no such deal,” he said.
Uttama said the party would discuss with its coalition partners to draw up policies that benefit the people and country.
“We will be a stable government despite various parties in the coalition,” he said.
When asked whether Bhumjaithai and Democrat will join PPRP, Uttama said talks and negotiations are ongoing.
However, Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul refuted claims that the party is having talks with PPRP to form a coalition government.
“There have been no talks, contact or any negations in the last two weeks.
“We will have a meeting on May 20 to discuss this matter,” he told reporters today.