BANGKOK — A party backing junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha said Wednesday it would have enough support from other parties to form a coalition government, though it will not disclose who they are.
Phalang Pracharath leader Sontirat Sontijirawong said no details can be given because “this is not the time to declare victory.” He also called a rival coalition being formed by Pheu Thai Party as a pointless “political gesture” that has no legal standing.
“We don’t even know how many parties will join them, and the Election Commission has yet to announce how many votes each party has,” Sontirat said at a news conference. “I’m sure our party will be the leader in forming a government, but this is not the time to declare victory.
He then criticized some media agencies for dubbing the Pheu Thai-led coalition pact a “pro-democracy camp.”
“I’d like to call upon the media to stop claiming they are a pro-democracy camp … In this election, everyone is pro-democracy. If we weren’t pro-democracy, we wouldn’t have contested in the poll in the first place,” Sontirat said. “Let me ask you: What about 7 million people who voted for Phalang Pracharath? Does it mean their voices should not be respected?”
Phalang Pracharath held its news conference hours after Pheu Thai declared an alliance of seven parties to form a majority coalition as the next government, saying their combined MP seats now exceeded half of the lower house.
But the pro-junta party said it should be the one leading the government because it won the popular vote.
Phalang Pracharath chairman Uttama Savanayana said his party is in talks with other parties to form an alliance, but didn’t name them – not even when a reporter asked if they include Bhumjaithai Party, which places fourth in the election.
“I will not disclose the names of parties we’re talking to. We’re confident we can join hands with parties that share our ideologies and form a government,” Uttama said. “As for how many seats we will have, please wait and see.”
He added that the media “can speculate all you want, but don’t assume anything to be final.”