Plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Move Forward Party, the unofficial winner of the May 14 election, and seven other political parties are well underway, with party leaders set to meet today to sign the agreement.
Party leaders will meet at Bangkok’s Conrad Hotel to formalize their agreement to form a coalition government as well as align their policy stances. The date of the signing, notably, marks the 9th anniversary of Thailand’s military coup.
Move Forward has consistently emphasized that the formation of a coalition government should be based on agendas and policies rather than ministries and positions.
Party representatives have said the MOU would respect the divergent policy opinions of each faction and divide responsibilities into two parts – joint responsibilities for all parties that include agreed-upon policies they will collectively push into legislation and specific responsibilities for each political party that they will determine independently.
Move Forward has confirmed that they will make every effort to push for the 300 progressive policies that they communicated to the public before the election to be included among the “joint” responsibilities in the MOU. Any policies not included in the agreement will be pushed through the ministries led by Move Forward Party and through the 152 party representatives in Parliament.
However, among the policies that Move Forward says it will not focus on in its first 100 days agenda is amending the controversial lese majeste law, as it continues to be a divisive topic and sensitive matter that requires further time for discussion before a compromise can be reached.
The coalition would give Move Forward 313 votes in Parliament, still short of the 376 votes required to form a government and elect a prime minister. The parties will still need the support of some of the 250 military-appointed senators in order to reach the threshold.
The Move Forward party announced on Friday it would sign the MOU with seven other political parties, namely Pheu Thai, Prachachart, Thai Sang Thai, Seri Ruam Thai, Pen Tham, Palang Sangkom Mai and Pheu Thai Ruam.
The date of today’s signing is seen as highly symbolic as it will mark a seismic shift in the country’s political landscape since the military coup 9 years ago.
While the formation of this type of coalition government would be a first for Thailand, Move Forward says that it can draw inspiration from other democratic countries from around the world to establish a new political foundation in Thailand that will elevate the public’s confidence in the government.
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