The Pheu Thai Party will now establish a new coalition without the Move Forward Party, rendering the memorandum of understanding between the previous coalition null and void.
The move, announced today in the middle of the afternoon, August 2nd, by Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew, was considered a drastic change to Thailand’s current political landscape.
Chonlanan reasoned that after Pheu Thai was tasked by the former coalition to find more support in the upcoming prime ministerial vote, the party faced a dead-end since most parties outside the coalition and Junta appointed senators insisted that they would not support or vote for the coalition as long as Move Forward remains part of it.
The issue was due to Move Forward’s plan to amend, not abolish, the controversial lese-majeste law, which protects defamation against his Royal Majesty the King, Chonlanan revealed. Move Forward wanted to lower legal penalties for this offense. Chonlanan further mentioned that under the leadership of the new Pheu Thai-led coalition, they will no longer endorse such an amendment in any such way or form.
As per the next prime ministerial vote on Friday, August 4th, Chonlanan stated that the new coalition will nominate businessman Srettha Thavisin as its PM candidate. After the government is established, they will immediately push for the rewriting of the Thai constitution with a people-elected charter drafting committee.
After the new charter comes into effect, the government will dissolve the parliament for a new election, Chonlanan revealed, adding before this could happen, the new government will hold a referendum to ask the people whether they want to rewrite the charter or not.
While Chonlanan did not disclose the parties that will comprise the new coalition, he affirmed that the previously established MOUs, which endorsed Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat as the prime minister, are now null and void.
He also added that it will be up to Move Forward to decide whether to vote for Srettha Thavisin as PM.
Apart from this, the Pheu Thai leader promised with Move Forward that the party will continue to pursue some of Move Forward’s policies including
- The revival of the Marriage Equality Bill
- The revival of the Progressive Liquor Bill
- The reformation of the bureaucratic system, the police, the military, and the justice system
- The replacement of mandatory military conscription with a voluntary system
- Decentralization, both in terms of missions and budgeting
- Elimination of monopolies and promotion of fair competition in all industries