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Political Conflict in Thailand Could Lead to Another Coup

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A Thai professor has warned that if the Move Forward Party (MFP) fails to create a coalition government, conflict and another coup could erupt. His message comes as a rally has been planned for May 23 in front of Parliament to pressure senators not to vote against the people’s resolve for the Move Forward Party.

Prof. Dr. Ratnatilaka, hichai Na Bhuket, Nida’s program director for politics and development strategy, offered several scenarios for what would happen if the MFP is able to form a government and what would happen if the party is unable to do so.

He stated that the MFP-led coalition, which currently has a total of 313 MPs, will form the new government provided it can win the support of at least 66 senators.

He stated that the MFP has the legitimacy to form a government and that its leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, stands out among the other prime ministerial hopefuls since he has voter support and worldwide recognition.

“With the MFP in charge of the government, politics will be stabilised, democracy will thrive, and the economy will grow.” Other countries will hold Thailand in high regard, he said.

However, if the MFP fails to create a coalition government because senators refuse to vote for Mr Pita as prime minister, the country will be unstable, with division and conflict causing an economic downturn and a negative image in the eyes of other countries, according to Mr Phichai.

Political Conflict in Thailand Could Lead to Another Coup

If the Pheu Thai Party forms a government and nominates its prime ministerial nominee, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, for a vote in parliament, he says there is no assurance senators will vote for her.

Furthermore, Pheu Thai may be unable to attract the Palang Pracharath and Bhumjaithai parties into the coalition due to opposition from red-shirt groups, he claimed.

He believes that division and disagreement could spark a coup, allowing the military to step in and take power, throwing the country into a downward cycle.

According to Yutthaporn Issarachai, a political science instructor at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, the MFP’s supporters, particularly those on social media, exert significant influence on the party’s decision-making.

“The MFP must give in to the demands of its own fanbase.” If the MFP insists on changing Section 112 [the lese majeste statute], it must engage the senators and parties who reject the proposal.

“However, if the party backs down from the move, it will instead face its own fandom online,” Mr Yutthaporn warned.

The leader of the Seri Ruam Thai Party, which is part of the MFP-led coalition group, Pol Gen Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, stated on Saturday that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) produced by the MFP imposes too many duties on coalition parties.

Political Conflict in Thailand Could Lead to Another Coup

The alliance is drafting an agreement that will provide rules for collaboration and solve national, political, economic, and social challenges. The MoU’s specifics will be announced tomorrow.

“There are far too many specifics in matters such as military reform.” “It appears that the MFP is attempting to bind coalition partners to agree on issues raised by the MFP,” stated Pol Gen Sereepisuth.

“However, the issue of Section 112 is not addressed in the MoU,” he noted.

Meanwhile, an army source believes that another coup is improbable, even if the MFP’s desire to establish a government is denied, which might generate street protests among its followers.

“In the past, such circumstances could have resulted in a coup.” However, a coup seems unlikely right now. It remains to be seen, however, how the military will preserve order without resorting to a coup,” the insider stated.

The military, on the other hand, has stated that it will do all possible to restore order and has ruled out the idea of another coup.

Meanwhile, a protest gathering has been organised for May 23 in front of Parliament in Bangkok’s Kiak Kai district to put pressure on the Senate’s 250 members not to vote against the people’s decision to establish a government with Pita Limjaroenrat as prime minister.

Political Conflict in Thailand Could Lead to Another Coup

The United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration (UFTD) announced the event on its Facebook page on Sunday.

“An election is an important tool for reflecting the people’s need and intention,” the UFTD stated. When the people express a desire for change, things should move in that direction under the democratic ideal. However, the 2017 constitution grants the 250 senators the ability to vote to pick the prime minister, despite their independence from the people.”

“Regardless of how much this election has demonstrated the people’s true intentions, some senators have expressed dissatisfaction with the democratic principle.” They are prepared to vote against the wishes of the people’s elected representatives and to prevent any change that may come,” the UFTD stated in a Facebook post.

The UFTD has called for “genuine holders of sovereign power” to rally in front of the Parliament in Kiak Kai on May 23 at 5 p.m. to urge senators not to vote against the people’s wishes.

“The people’s victory must not be ruined by senators,” it stated.

Political Conflict in Thailand Could Lead to Another Coup

In a related occurrence, a group of protesters claiming to wish to safeguard the monarchy assembled in front of the Chao Phrom market in Muang district, Ayutthaya province, on Sunday morning. They were led by Kalayani Juprang, also known as “Auntie Ayutthaya.”

The marchers carried placards condemning any attempt to change or repeal Section 112 of the Criminal Code, also known as the lese majeste statute, and marched around the market on Naresuan Road.

Some people in the Chao Phrom market area came out to protest the group’s activities, which resulted in both sides throwing insults at each other. Police, both plainclothes and uniformed, had to intervene to keep them apart.

Ms Kalayani urged residents of Ayutthaya and neighbouring provinces to rally in support of the monarchy, citing the Move Forward Party’s stated desire to modify Section 112.

She believed that Move Forward had the legitimacy to form the foundation of a coalition government, but their stance that could result in the repeal of Section 112 was unacceptable. After around 40 minutes, Ms. Kalayani and her party dispersed.

Thailand’s Senators Oppose Move Forward Party’s PM Candidate

Thailand’s Senators Oppose Move Forward Party’s PM Candidate

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