In the midst of tussles over divisive subjects that appeared to be moving towards determining the outcome by a draw of lots, the parties finally sought middle ground. This act of unity was significantly appreciated by Pichet Chuamuangpan – the ruling Pheu Thai Party’s second deputy House speaker – who was at the helm of the conference that featured representatives from all parties. The earlier disagreement on certain matters luckily found its resolution in this meeting.
From the ranks of all parties, Move Forward stood at the forefront with a strong force of 151 members. This placed them in the esteemed position of presiding over 11 House committees.
Following closely is the ruling Pheu Thai Party. Even though their number of 141 MPs does not match that of Move Forward, they have been entrusted with the responsibility of governing 10 other significant House committees. This includes the critical committee established to prevent and control corruption, a pillar in government scrutiny.
Most ministries under the ruling party’s Cabinet are likely to see House committees being chaired by Pheu Thai MPs. Notable among these are the House committees pertaining to transport, public health, foreign affairs, finance, tourism, and telecoms. Pheu Thai will lead the charge in the committee on House of Representatives affairs.
Despite their superior strength in parliament, the opposition Move Forward Party will preside over less desired House committees. They will be handling the critical sectors of economic development, natural resources and the environment, state budget follow-ups, military affairs, and consumer protection, among others.
The Bhumjaithai party, which is the second major party in the coalition, is slated to supervise five House committees. The domains include education, administration, labour and natural disasters, and more. Most of these pertain to the ministries they are overseeing.
The collective Palang Pracharath Party, meanwhile, has been allocated three House committees – Sports, debt issues, and farm-produce prices, to preside over. The opposition Democrat Party will govern two House committees, the intellectual property and police affairs.
The coalition’s United Thai Nation Party will lead two House committees – energy and industry. The party also struck an agreement with Move Forward to share the term of the chairmanship of the House committee on court affairs over a span of four years.
The coalitions of Chart Thai Pattana and Prachachat parties will each preside over one House committee. These committees majorly concern children, women, the elderly, the disabled, minority groups, and LGBTQ, alongside justice and human rights.
According to Pichet, who chaired Thursday’s meeting, all parties are primed to nominate their MPs for positions in the 35 House committees by September 27. The newly formed committees will hold their inaugural meeting on September 28 to appoint chairpersons and other positions.