UNITED FRONT for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) leader Jatuporn Prompan yesterday denied rumours that he had joined hands with former yellow-shirt leader Sondhi Limthongkul to form the Pheu Chart Party to lead the country out of the current conflict.
The red-shirt leader admitted talking in prison to his former political adversary about politics and how to resolve the conflict plaguing the country. He, however, denied discussing with Sondhi or Buddha Issara about forming a political party.
He was responding to news reports that Pheu Chart Party would be formed as a collaboration between red- and yellow-shirt leaders to find a way out of the long-running political conflict.
Jatuporn reiterated it was false news, adding that Sondhi was still in prison and would not be out for another 20 years unless he received a royal pardon. If they were to form a party after his release, Sondhi would be around 100 years old by then, he said.
Regarding the establishment of Pheu Chart, the red-shirt leader said the UDD had no intention of forming a political party.
Pheu Chart is an old political party formed in 2013, he said. However, he was actually serving a political ban so he could not possibly have any role in the party, Jatuporn said.
Pheu Chart is believed to be among smaller parties formed to help Pheu Thai Party win extra seats in the Lower House, sufficient to have a majority and form a government.
Jatuporn said it was designed in the Constitution that in order to win the election, a group should be split into different parties.
He said the conservative-leaning side had split into five different parties: Palang Pracharat, Action Coalition for Thailand (ACT) Party, Palang Tham Mai Party, Democrat, and People’s Reform Party.
The ACT Party, backed by People’s Democratic Reform Committee leader Suthep Thaugsuban, will play a role in the Parliament so there wouldn’t be a balance if the UDD didn’t do the same thing, Jatuporn said.
He admitted that Pheu Chart was reserved for those who had no place in Pheu Thai.
But this did not mean that the pro-Shinawatra camp was divided, he said, stressing that only by splitting could they help each other win.
Responding to concerns that Pheu Chart would dip into Pheu Thai’s voter base, Jatuporn said it was up to the voters to decide. The two parties would work separately, he added.
Pheu Chart will hold an assembly this weekend to revise its charter. The new executives and leader would be chosen next month, according to Jatuporn. As political parties try to find a way around the single-ballot system to gain majority seats in the Lower House by creating allied parties, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday conceded that they could do so because it was not against the law.