“As it stands, the Democrats will get the three cabinet seats [agriculture, commerce and social development, and human security] it wants in order to pursue its policies including the party’s farm price guarantee which will be implemented by the Agriculture and Commerce ministries working together,” the source said.
The source also explained why the Democrat Party on Tuesday abruptly cancelled a meeting to decide whether to join a coalition led by the PPRP.
The source said that this was because the PPRP was not clear as to who was leading the negotiations.
Apart from PPRP leader Uttama Savanayana and secretary-general Sontirat Sontijirawong, the PPRP also sent Somsak Thepsuthin and Suriya Jungrungreangkit, both from the Sam Mitr group, to join the talks and they insisted on keeping the three ministerial positions, the source said.
Mr Uttama on Wednesday said his party was discussing the allocation of ministries with other parties.
He denied speculation that the PPRP would press ahead with a vote for a prime minister and announce the formation of its coalition government without waiting for the Democrat Party to come aboard.
A coalition government with a marginal majority in the House of Representatives would struggle to function and could end up with a House dissolution, Mr Uttama said.
“There should not be speculation that the Democrat Party will not join the coalition because everything is under negotiation,” Mr Uttama said.
He said there is still time left to form a coalition government, though he admitted that a definite time frame still could not be given.
He did not confirm whether the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives would be given to the Democrat Party.
PPRP deputy spokesman, Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, said that Mr Uttama and members the party’s executive board will today visit the headquarters of the Chartthaipattana Party to formally ask it to join the PPRP coalition.
Chartthaipattana director Nikorn Chamnong said that party leader Kanchana Silpa-archa, and party executives such as secretary-general Prapat Pothasuthon and Varawut Silpa-archa, head of the party’s strategic and policy committee, will meet for talks with the PPRP. The outcome of the talks will be announced soon afterwards.
Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul said on Wednesday that the party will join a coalition government which has a combined number of more than 251 MPs to ensure stability.
Asked to comment on any possible impacts on coalition formation if the Democrat Party refuses to join the PPRP-led coalition, Mr Anutin said this would mean Bhumjaithai’s demand for a stable government would not be met.
Democrat deputy leader Nipon Boonyamanee said that in the past, political parties had to finalise deals over cabinet seats before proceeding to choose a prime minister, not the other way around.
“Therefore, the party which is at the core of the coalition must be patient in negotiating and know how to keep things moving forward,” Mr Nipon said.
He insisted the Democrats’ demand for constitutional amendments, and its policies such as income guarantees for farmers must be incorporated into the next government’s policies.
If the PPRP can accept these conditions, the details regarding the allocation of cabinet seats can then be fleshed out, Mr Nipon said.
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