BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): An aide to outgoing Deputy PM General Prawit Wongsuwon believes the Move Forward Party will fail in its attempt to form a coalition government and will instead be left out cold on the opposition bench.
Paisal Puechmongkol (pic right), a former assistant to Prawit in his capacity as deputy PM, said in a Facebook comment on Monday (May 29) that a Move Forward-led coalition would flop as it would not win the 376 votes required for its leader Pita Limjaroenrat (pic left) to become prime minister.
Once Move Forward fails, the second party with the highest number of MPs – Pheu Thai – will get to form a coalition, he said.
Pheu Thai, he said, will then bring in Prawit’s Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) to replace Move Forward in the eight-party partnership currently formed.
This formula will win the Pheu Thai-led coalition enough support from senators to elect a premier of their choice, he said.
Paisal explained that Move Forward, which won 151 seats in the lower House, needs Pheu Thai which has 141 MPs.
However, a Move Forward-led coalition with eight prospective partners will require support from 64 senators as well. The coalition initially had 313 MPs but lost one seat to Bhumjaithai.
In a worst-case scenario, the EC might endorse only 475 MPs and may review the victories of the remaining 25, he said. If this becomes the case, then the Move Forward-led coalition would require more support from senators.
Meanwhile, many senators have vowed not to support Pita in his bid to become PM on grounds that his party is seeking to amend Article 112 of the Criminal Code or the lese majeste law.
Once Move Forward fails to set up a government, Pheu Thai will take over and succeed with support from PPRP, which has 40 seats, Paisal said.
Plus, a Pheu Thai-led coalition will also get plenty of support from senators thanks to its partnership with PPRP.
Prawit is one of the two generals who appointed most of the 250 senators.
The other general was outgoing PM Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who led the 2014 coup that ousted the government of Yingluck Shinawatra. He was the Army chief at that time.