Move Forward Party and 7 other Thai parties sign pact for coalition government

Eight opposition parties in Thailand have signed an agreement on a joint platform that they hope will help them form a coalition government.

The alliance is led by the Move Forward Party, which won the largest number of seats in the recent general election, but fell short of winning a majority.

The eight parties signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday. It calls for a new constitution to be drafted and military conscription to be abolished.

But the memorandum did not include a plan to revise the law that prohibits people from insulting the monarchy. That was one of Move Forward's election pledges. Other parties are cautious about such a revision.

The Pheu Thai Party, which is affiliated with former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, is a member of the alliance. The party placed second in the election.

However, the eight parties still do not have a majority of the combined lower house and senate seats. If they clear that threshold, they will have the power to choose the prime minister.

The parties plan to court the votes of some senators. But it is unclear if the effort will pay off, as members of the senate were appointed by the military government that was installed following a coup.