Matichon quotes a Bhum Jai Thai MP from Khorat as stating that not less than 70 MPs are about to join Bhum Jai Thai after the constitution is amended. At least 30 Puea Thai MPs from the Northeast including 1 from Khorat and another Khorat MP who is with another coalition partner.
Today, in his column in the Bangkok Post, Pichai Chuensuksawadi (Editor-in-Chief ) writes:
And though Bhumjaithai may still be in the next coalition government, it is unlikely that it will enjoy the political clout it has today.
The Democrats were somewhat hamstrung in the formation of the current government because of the military’s role and backroom dealings which gave Bhumjaithai control over key cabinet portfolios. Although Bhumjaithai may gain more seats in the next election, it will have to do its own bargaining – minus military involvement. This leads many to believe that its influence will wane while the bargaining power of the other parties will increase.
BP: The news about the role of military in being behind the formation of the current government by persuading the coalition partners not to join up with Puea Thai is old news, as BP previously blogged here and here, but it is interesting to see Pichai state that the level of the military involvement included specifically negotiating for the cabinet positions for Bhum Jai Thai.
If 70 MPs join – unsure whether this includes the 15 or so who are aligned with Bhum Jai Thai now, but have not officially joined – this would mean Bhum Jai Thai have 100 MPs. Won’t they want much more of the cake?