6 parties united in democratic bloc

Today (27 March) at 11.00, representatives of six pro-democracy parties held a press conference at the Lancaster Hotel to announce that they are forming a coalition to become the next government of Thailand.

Leaders of the 6 democratic bloc parties at this morning's press conference

The coalition included the Pheu Thai party, Future Forward Party, Puea Chart Party, Prachachat Party, Thai Liberal Party, and Phalang Puangchon Thai Party.

Mingkwan Sangsuwan, leader of the New Economics Party, said that he was not able to attend the press conference but he sent a letter to Pheu Thai to assure his membership of the democratic alliance. The Bhumjaithai Party has yet to announce its allegiance.

Sudarat Keyuraphan, the Pheu Thai candidate for Prime Minister, said that the coalition intends to end the NCPO’s continuation of power. She said that even if the vote count has yet to be finalised, all the parties present had at least 255 MPs, making them the majority in parliament. Sudarat said that it can be considered that the coalition has received a public consensus, and will be working to end the NCPO’s continuation of power and form a democratic government.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Future Forward Party (FFP), said that the FFP is siding with the other pro-democracy parties. He insisted that the Prime Minister should come from the party who has the greatest number of MPs, and therefore Sudarat is the most suitable candidate for Prime Minister. Before the election, he said that the Prime Minister must be an MP, not an outsider, but now he supports Sudarat, who may not be an MP because Pheu Thai may have zero MPs from the party-list system according to the extremely unusual election system designed by the junta.

Thanathorn also invited other parties who have not joined the coalition to come together to fight the NCPO’s continuation of power, and call for the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) to perform their duties in an honest and just manner. He also said that if the minority party relies on the support of the unelected senate to try to take power, it will lead to a political deadlock.

At the end of the press conference, the representatives of the 6 democratic parties signed an MOU on their coalition, affirming that together they have more than 255 votes in parliament and will be working to stop the NCPO from staying in power. No representative of the New Economics Party was present at the press conference and the party therefore did not sign the MOU. 

Representatives of the 6 parties will also be meeting the ECT to pressure them to announce the official election result before 9 May. 

The 'Lancaster MOU' signed by the head of all 6 parties
(Source: The Standard)

According to the unofficial election result, the democratic alliance has 255 MPs, making it now the majority in the House of Representatives. However, the 2017 Constitution authorizes the 250 senators appointed by NCPO to participate in voting for the Prime Minister. So the democratic alliance needs at least 375 MPs to defeat Prayut Chan-o-cha.