Charter writer Meechai: Unity government 'possible'

Bhichai Rattakul, former leader of the Democrat Party, has suggested a national unity government be formed with the military regime, including the Democrat, Pheu Thai and Bhumjaithai political parties. (Post Today graphic)

The new constitution does not shut the door on the possibility of a national unity government being formed, Constitution Drafting Committee chairman Meechai Ruchupan said Tuesday.

This is essentially a coalition government where all major parties temporarily shelve their differences and agree to work together until a prevailing crisis is resolved.

Mr Meechai was referring to a proposal floated by ex-Democrat Party leader Bhichai Rattakul that three parties form an alliance with the military.

Under the proposal, the Democrat, Pheu Thai and Bhumjaithai parties would join hands with the military. Mr Bhichai suggested Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha could initiate talks. He said national administration was a means to reconciliation but admitted the move to band together would likely stoke controversy.

Mr Meechai said he has yet to learn all of the details of the proposal but did not think the 2017 constitution has any provisions rendering it a non-starter. He said the parties would first have to contest House seats in the upcoming general election -- expected between September and December of next year -- and then reach an agreement on how to form the next government.

Under the new charter, a prime minister must be chosen from a list of candidates put forward by political parties, Mr Meechai said.

But National Legislative Assembly president Pornpetch Pichitcholchai said the new charter is not designed to open the way for the establishment of a national unity government.

If one were formed it would represent a breach of the constitution, which requires a government to be formed by the party holding a majority of House seats, he said.

Back to top