Democrats and Bhumjaithai take a step back from joining pro-junta government.

The Democrat Party was supposed to have met today (28 May) to announce a deal with the Phalang Pracharat Party, but the party’s spokesperson has said it will be postponed.

Rames Ratanachaweng, the Democrat spokesperson, at a press conference yesterday

Rames Ratanachaweng, the party’s spokesperson, said the Democrat Party has sent a policy proposal as a condition for joining the government, but the Phalang Pracharat Party has yet to reply.

The bargaining power of Democrat Party is now at its highest point in 5 years since the military coup in 2014. Without the 53 MPs of the Democrat Party, it is not possible for any coalition to secure a majority in the House to pass legislation.

The Constitution, which enables the 250 unelected senators to vote for the Prime Minister, makes it likely that Prayut Chan-o-cha will be the Prime Minister. However, any Prayut government will not function unless Phalang Pracharat also engineers a majority in the House of Representatives.

The Bhumjaithai Party, led by Anutin Charnvirakul, who announced earlier that it would join a government led by Phalang Pracharat, has also taken a step back after the postponement of the meeting with the Democrat Party today.

Anutin Charnvirakul (white shirt), leader of the Bhumjaithai Party

In an interview with TV Channel TNN 16, Anutin said one condition for joining the government is that Phalang Pracharat needs to secure a majority in the House. “Without the Democrat Party joining, Bhumjaithai cannot join,” said Anutin.  

The Bhumjaithai party is also essential to any government coalition. Without the 51 Bhumjaithai MPs, Phalang Pracharat lacks a majority in the House.

Phalang Pracharat’s coalition now has 137 MPs out of 500, and still needs all the 117 seats from the 4 undecided parties to form a viable coalition, including the Democrat Party (53 MPs), Bhumjaithai Party (51 MPs), Chart Thai Pattana (10 MPs), and Chart Pattana (3 MPs).