Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The '3Ps' and their behind-the-scenes merger move

They are known within the political circles as the "3Ps" -- Pinit Charusombat, Pairoj Suwanachawee, and Preecha Laohapongchana -- and they form the backbone of the current coalition government.

The three Ps are said to be contemplating a merger so that they could put themselves in a stronger position after the next election, vis-a-vis other "medium-sized" parties, particularly Bhumjaithai Party which is under the direct influence of Newin Chidchob, PM Abhisit's stronger backer.

The three groupings now have a total of 18 seats in the House. If they join forces with Banharn Silpa-archa's Chat Thai Pattana Party with 25 ad another small party such as Machima, which has about 9 seats, the total could come to 52. And if they exert real effort, perhaps the merger could expect to strike 60. That means they would be in a position to bargain with either the Democrats or Pheau Thai Party for some a real substantial piece of the cake.

Does all the talk about this "re-alignment" send a signal that elections are imminent?

PM Abhisit Vejjajiva told The Wall Street Journal today that he won't call an election before early next year "at the earliest."

But his coalition partners don't seem to think along the same line. They don't want to be caught off-guard, obviously.