BANGKOK — The leader of the pro-junta Phalang Pracharath Party said Thursday his party would seek to lead the next government right away even if it fails short of winning the election outright.
In the clearest indication the new party would possibly rely on the junta-appointed senate to form a government, Uttama Savanayana said his party wouldn’t wait for whoever wins the most seats to form a government. Whichever party can lobby coalition partners to join first, he said, has the right to form a government.
“When a party or group obtains the [necessary] seats first, they should be able to form the government first. These are the rules that should be followed,” Uttama said.
Last month, his party, which is led by former junta cabinet members, nominated junta leader-cum-premier Prayuth Chan-ocha to be the next prime minister.
Prayuth’s military government is in the process of selecting all 250 members of the upper house, who under the new constitution will get to vote for the next PM.
That means the party will only need 126 MPs plus the full senate to secure a term in office for Prayuth. The pro-democratic faction would need to assemble a wall of 376 MPs in the 500-member lower body.
They may face a spoiler in Thailand’s oldest party, which has consistently commanded the second largest support among the electorate.
Despite signaling earlier this month he would not support Prayuth, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva backtracked Wednesday, saying it was only his personal stance after meeting a backlash from the pro-establishment wing of his party.