By Thai Newsroom Reporters
EIGHT PARTNERS OF A Move Forward-led coalition government today (May 22) signed a joint MoU to keep them all working together in shared pursuit of optimum interests of the people and country prior to the planned naming of Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat for prime minister.
The leaders of the Move Forward, Pheu Thai, Prachachart, Thai Sang Thai, Pheu Thai Ruam Palang, Thai Liberal, Fair Party and Palang Sangkhom Mai signed the MoU at a Bangkok hotel after they had tentatively formed the eight-party coalition government following the May 14 general election which resulted in the Move Forward becoming the largest-winning party and core of government.
The MoU primarily outlines the coalition partners’ integrated plans and schemes to be carried out immediately after the Move Forward leader has been named prime minister.
The 23-point MoU refers to, among others:
– Drafting of a wholly new constitution which will be done by a Constitution Drafting Committee all members of which will be elected by the people nationwide.
That compared to the current constitution which was designed by the 2014 coup junta and largely viewed as undemocratic with 250 unelected senators being empowered to vote alongside 500 elected MPs for prime minister.
– Reform of the military, police and other bureaucratic circles as well as the judicial process which have been allegedly prone to corruption, bias and abuse of power.
– Change in the mode of annual military conscription from being compulsory to voluntary.
The Move Forward has pointed out that many conscripts may have practically ended up being domestic servants doing daily chores at the residences of their commanders in lieu of engaging in military training and duties.
– Legislation of gender equality weddings.
– Introduction of zero-based budgeting.
Nevertheless, the sought-after amendment to the draconian lese majeste law has been excluded from the MoU and viewed among the coalition partners as being entirely on unilateral agenda of the Move Forward.
Given a united force of 313 MPs on their command, the eight coalition partners will definitely vote for the Move Forward leader for prime minister, plus other yea votes from other legislators in a joint House/Senate session to be scheduled in near future.
For the time being, Pita is needing at least 63 more votes to make it legally adequate for him to take the helm of government.
The military-designed constitution calls for a partisan candidate for prime minister to muster more than half the combined total of the MPs and senators or at least 376 votes.
For that reason, among others, the Move Forward-led coalition is resolutely looking to have the constitution rewritten to the extent that such disputable powers of the unelected senators be completely terminated as long as democratic rule is concerned.
Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat, centre left, and Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew, centre right, during the signing of the MoU at a Bangkok hotel today, above, and a group photo of the leaders of the eight parties in the tentative coalition government, Front Page. Both photos: Naewna