Saksith interviews Suranand
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Saksith interviews Suranand

Fellow AC blogger Saksith has a two-part interview with Suranand Vejjajiva (part 1 and part 2). One excerpt:

[Q] Do you think this coalition is stable enough?

[A] In terms of numbers yes, definitely. The coalition partners don‘t have any leverage to change anything much because PT already has enough seats. If PT would have fewer seats, let‘s say 220, and a coalition partner with 20 seats would come in, then they would have more leverage, then the coalition would be unstable. But number-wise, this coalition is stable.

BP: This is the importance of Puea Thai winning more than a majority than simply a plurality.* In 2007, PT’s predecessor PPP only had a plurality and while it was enough to block the Democrats from forming a government they still needed the smaller parties onside in order to form a government. The smaller parties had greater bargaining power as the establishment didn’t want the smaller parties to join with PPP so they could use this to bargain with PPP. This time around PT can form a government, albeit a very weak government on their own, or a semi-stable government with one of the three smaller coalition partners OR even Bhum Jai Thai if the others get too demanding (this is more of something that the coalition partners will have in the back of their minds as opposed to PT likely going into coalition with BJT). Hence, the coalition partners don’t have much leverage.** One advantage of this is that Puea Thai can control more of the key ministries which means they will be able to better coordinate and implement economic policies….

The rest of the interview has come comments on lese majeste, Yingluck, the role of the Democrats, and the coalition……

*There is a very, very small chance that at least 15 red cards/yellow cards for constituency candidates and Puea Thai lose the by-elections and their victory slips back to a plurality.

**Hence, BP was surprised on the night of the election when The Nation‘s Tulsathit tweeted “5) Yingluck’s coalition partners will have considerable bargaining power” and tweeted a response “Bargaining power yes, but considerable ‘no’. If need be, PT can go for BJT if other parties get demanding. AV had little choice”.