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Prachatham Thai Party Abandons Coalition After Monkey Reference

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“I’ve grown tired of eating bananas. It’s up to others to continue eating,” he said. Referring to the MP of other micro parties still with the coalition.

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BANGKOK – Pichet Sathirachawal, leader of the Prachatham Thai Party, has announced his party’s decision to pull out of the coalition.

Sathirachawal, leader of the Prachatham Thai Party, held a briefing in Bangkok on Tuesday to announce the party’s decision.

The decision comes after the 10 micro parties were refused a chairman seat on any of the 35 House committees. The meeting decided it was unconstitutional for parties to band together in the chairman seat allocation.

Over the weekend, Thammanat Prompow, a deputy agriculture minister and coalition coordinator, said he managed to lure back the party into the fold. However, he added a remark many found insulting.

“I’m a monkey keeper so I need to keep feeding them bananas all the time. I believe they’re full now,” he said, before calling Mr Pichet before reporters to make the point.

Mr Pichet said later he had to consult the party’s executives but what he meant earlier was to split up from the 10-party group, not from the coalition.

On Tuesday, Mr Pichet said his party’s executives voted unanimously to leave the coalition because of Thammanat’s insulting remarks and pledged never to rejoin it.

Mr Pichet said he would be an independent MP and will vote at his own discretion without having to listen to whips.

“I’ve grown tired of eating bananas. It’s up to others to continue eating,” he said. Referring to the MP of other micro parties still with the coalition.

On Tuesday morning, Thammanat offered an apology, saying he made the remark because he had grown so close to him and thought he wouldn’t mind.

After Mr Pichet pulled out of the coalition, the government will command 249 of 500 votes in the House. With two swing votes of Mr Mongkolkit and Mr Pichet.