No support for national unity govt idea
By The Nation
Somsak hints at Phalang Pracharat having the edge because of juntaappointed senators
The three biggest winners in last month’s general election have all rejected the idea floated by a Democrat politician of forming a national unity government amid uncertainty over the election results and government formation.
Phalang Pracharat Party core leader Somsak Thepsutin yesterday brushed off the suggestion, saying the current circumstances would not lead to such a deadlock and he believed a normal government was still possible.
“I don’t think a national unity government will need to be formed. Eventually, all parties will adapt themselves and find a common ground,” the veteran politician said. “Nobody wants to go back to chaos and conflicts.”
Rebutting the idea of Democrat MPtobe Thepthai Senapong, Somsak said those talking of a national unity government were mostly insecure or did not having enough seats to form a government.
He added that the Constitution has been well designed and has all the solutions.
Somsak had stirred controversy last year when he said the Constitution had been designed for Phalang Pracharat, but he reiterated that the juntaappointed 250 senaฌtors would help tone down the extremes in politics.
“Without the 250 senators, politics would have been on fire,” he said, referring to the controversial Upper House to be appointed by the junta, which would have the power to shape postelection politics by having a decisive say on picking the next PM.
Somsak also appeared confident that though the two rival camps were nearly tied in the number of MPs they have, the presence of the 250 juntaappointฌed senators would tilt the balance in Phalang Pracharat’s favour.
Future Forward Party, the thirdlargest party in terms of number of MPs, also completely rejected the idea of forming a national unity government.
“It is clearly against the Constitution,” said party spokesperson Pannika Wanich. “The charter says we must have an opposition. And even though it is constitutional, still it is undemocratic and no different from authoritarianism. Democracy requires a checks and balances system.”
The only way out of any deadend is to respect the people’s voice and allow the bloc with the majority seats to set up a coalition government, she said.
Pheu Thai Party, meanwhile, warned that the delay and current uncertainty was jeopardising the economy.
“The longer the formation of a new government is put off, the more investors will lose confidence,” party spokesperson Ladawan Wongsriwong warned, adding, “If the government forฌmation is delayed until the fourth quarฌter, it is possible that economic growth this year may be limited to 3.5 per cent.”
The idea of forming a national unity government will only aggravate the sitฌuation, she added. It is a bad sign for the business sector, she said.
“The solution is easy. Just respect the rules and let the winning party form a government. If [Pheu Thai] fails, then the second, third and so on can take the lead.”
Following much criticism, Thepthai yesterday explained he was worried the government would be unstable as both camps have around the same number of MPs.
“This is my personal suggestion, not the party’s,” the MPinwaiting said. “It’s not that we have a few MPs and we want this for ourselves.”
Thepthai also denied that his sugฌgestion to let Democrat patriarch Chuan Leekpai lead the next governฌment was aimed at benefiting the Democrat Party. He said it was his perฌsonal view that Chuan could be a perfect candidate as a conciliatory prime minister, he added.
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