Mahachon MPs to cooperate with govt

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The Mahachon Party’s only two MPs said they would prefer to be aligned with the ruling Thai Rak Thai Party rather than hold try to work against it as part of the opposition.

“Both of us would work as liberal opposition if the party decides not to join Thai Rak Thai,” said Tassaniya Rattanaset, Mahachon MP from Nakhon Ratchasima.

As liberal MPs, Tassaniya said that she and Tun Jintawet, a Mahachon MP from Ubon Ratchthani, might sometimes oppose the government.

“We will first consider the interests of the people before opposing or supporting any [government] policies,” she said. Mahachon will not establish a clear direction until after its leadership election on March 26, she added.

The party, left out in the cold in last month’s general election when it won a paltry two seats, is now leaderless.

To make matters worse, Tun and Tassaniya have proven to be at odds with the party’s policies.

Tassaniya said that the party’s progressive welfare platform has to be scrapped, because two MPs cannot push the policies further.

Tun recently predicted that Mahachon Party would not last longer than one year. He attended a private party held by Thai Rak Thai party-list MPs Snoh Thienthong, raising speculation that Mahachon would merge with the ruling party.

He also said that he and Tassaniya would today vote for Thai Rak Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra to become prime minister for a second term.

Tun and Tassaniya met Thai Rak Thai party-list MP Suwat Liptapanlop after attending the opening of the new session of Parliament on Friday.

Tassaniya confirmed that Suwat had invited her and Tun to join Thai Rak Thai.

She said that if her vote could facilitate Suwat’s plan to develop Nakhon Ratchasima, she would be happy to support him.

But, she insisted that she would work according to her party’s wishes.

Tassaniya’s constituency was the only area in Nakhon Ratchasima where a Suwat-backed Thai Rak Thai candidate lost. Mahachon agreed yesterday to allow its two MPs to vote for Thaksin to become prime minister.

“But the support for his premiership doesn’t mean the party will merge with the ruling Thai Rak Thai,” said acting party leader Akapol Sorasuchart.

Akapol added that Mahachon MPs would have to seek the party’s approval when weighing whether to support or oppose the government on issues.

“We may agree with the government on certain issues, but we may support the opposition parties on certain issues as well,” he said. He admitted that the public might initially be confused about which direction the party is heading in, but they would gradually understand that Mahachon isstaying true to its liberal status.

Published on March 09, 2005

Thanyaporn

Kunakornpaiboonsiri

The Nation

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