The warning comes days after the outgoing Democrat Party leader Mr Jurin Laksanawisit scotched any suggestion that secret talks concerning an alternative coalition government between the Pheu Thai Party, Bhumjaithai Party and his party were taking place. Mr Jurin urged all parties to cooperate and said that he did not want to see politics in Thailand, again, taken to the streets.
A key leader in the Democrat Party which has 25 MPs in the next parliament and which was tipped during the week as part of an alternative coalition to the Move Forward Party alliance, has pleaded that the country must be aware of the ‘spirit of democracy’ at this time. He called for respect to be given to the majority in the House of Representatives when it comes to forming Thailand’s next government. He also drew attention to the dangers being created by voices of ‘hate’ which emerged after the election on media channels with the country already facing an economic crisis this year.
An acting deputy leader of the Democrat Party, currently rudderless as it seeks to elect a new leader following the resignation of Deputy Prime Minister Jurin Laksanawisit the day after the poll, has issued a strong statement for the ‘spirit of democracy’ to prevail as tensions rise in relation to the formation of the next government.
Mr Alongkorn Ponlaboot, a former minister and advisor to the Minister of Agriculture Mr Chalermchai Sri-on in the outgoing government, also bluntly warned that the kingdom is facing an economic crisis with spiralling geopolitical tensions, declining exports and the prospect emerging of continued rises in bank interest rates this year being driven by a combination of factors impacting the banking system.
Former minister urges the public and the kingdom’s leadership not to let history repeat itself as voices of hate grow louder amid economic challenges
‘The country is facing an economic crisis. Do not exacerbate the political crisis, the only way is to help our country move forward according to the democratic path,’ Mr Alongkorn said on Sunday in a social media post in which he also warned of polarising voices and news outlets in the social media firmament backed by foreign countries seeking to destabilise Thailand.
He warned that many of the messages being propagated are ones of hate against one side by the other, conversations and falsehoods which had no place in a proper democracy.
‘Don’t let history repeat itself. Democracy is not built on hate but built with reasonable respect for differences of opinion through peaceful means and tolerance. The transition of power from one government to another should be smooth and fast,’ he declared.
He urged all those in the public arena to support the majority of MPs in the House of Representatives when it came to forming a stable government for the kingdom, at this time, to manage the country’s affairs for the next four years.
‘Democracy has a spirit’ says Democratic Party deputy leader just like the rules for playing sport
‘Democracy must have spirit. You can draw and lose like in a sports match. If we do not accept the election results then why should we let the people vote? Recognition of election results is an important principle in a democracy,’ he warned.
It comes at the end of a week where fears are easing after pro-democracy groups’ suspicions were raised that the Democrat Party, Pheu Thai Party and the Bhumjaithai Party may be hatching an alternative coalition while the government formation process of the eight-party coalition between Move Forward and Pheu Thai proceeds ahead at its own pace.
Last weekend, the Bhumjaithai Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul was spotted at the Leicester City FC football ground, the King Power Stadium in the UK city of Leicester, along with Pheu Thai Party Prime Ministerial nominee Srettha Thavisin as the former premiership winners owned by the influential Srivaddhanaprabha family were relegated to Division One even though the home side won two one against West Ham on the day.
Fears in the background that an alternative coalition government is being hatched between the Democrat Party, Bhumjaithai Party and Pheu Thai Party
Then, along with a Pheu Thai Party Supporters deputation demanding that the party call off negotiations with the Move Forward Party over a perceived lack of respect over the behaviour of Move Forward negotiators in respect of the position of House Speaker, the country’s top whistleblower dropped a bombshell on Monday when he said that secret talks were taking place in Malaysia between these parties.
Chuwit Kamolvisit, the former massage parlour tycoon, told the media that the negotiations were called ‘Come Home’ referring to the desire by former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to return home to Thailand, something the former premier is promising to do anyway in July while Prime Minister Prayut Chan ocha is still in power.
The reports were soundly and swiftly rejected by all parties including Mr Thaksin who described himself as ‘flabbergasted’ by what he had heard while the Pheu Thai Party leadership this week reaffirmed its commitment to its decision taken on the day after the election to support the Move Forward Party’s quest for power.
Deputy PM Jurin Laksanawisit, outgoing Democrat Party leader denies there are any ‘secret’ talks linked to an alternative coalition government
On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, the outgoing Democrat Party leader, also categorically denied that any such talks had or were taking place.
He said that, as of now, it was the prerogative of the Move Forward Party as the largest party emerging from the General Election poll, to form a government.
He went further and suggested that the Democrat Party would not be an obstacle to the formation of such a government with several MPs within the party, Thailand’s oldest, reported to be supportive of a pro-democracy Move Forward Party-led government provided it does not interfere with Article 112 of the Criminal Code relating to lèse-majesté.
Deputy Prime Minister Jurin announced his resignation as Democrat Party leader within hours of the election result, when the party emerged with just 25 seats in the new House of Representatives.
This week, he said he never wanted to see Thailand return to the era of street politics again.
He declared he wanted to see political differences talked out in parliament but emphasised that people, at this time, must follow the 2017 Constitution which he insisted had been approved by a people’s referendum.