By Thai Newsroom Reporters
FORMER PREMIER THAKSIN Shinawatra yesterday downplayed speculation that somebody will sooner or later be appointed as prime minister by His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn to replace an embattled Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Speaking online via Care Clubhouse channel, Thaksin dismissed rumours largely circulated on social media that a royally-appointed figure will replace Prayut who might probably be pressed to step down as head of government in the face of his alleged failures to effectively address the pandemic situation, resulting in surges in a daily tally of infection cases and that of fatalities.
Thaksin concluded that His Majesty King Rama X constitutionally remains above politics and will by no means intervene in such political affairs as the changing of the heads of government in the face of the worsened pandemic situation.
In particular, the self-exiled Thaksin dismissed hearsay that he himself might ever return home as royally-appointed premier with a primary task of combating the nationwide pandemic.
According to the 2017 constitution, a simple majority of MPs and senators combined may constitutionally submit the name of a non-partisan person as premier for whom an endorsement by His Majesty the King will be needed.
Nonetheless, three people have already been put on the waiting list of partisan candidates to replace Prayut as premier in lieu of the event in which legislators might otherwise seek such royally-appointed, non-partisan premier only if the current one resigned.
The three partisan candidates for premier include ex-premier Abhisit Vejjajiva of the Democrat Party, Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul of the Bhumjaithai Party and Chaikasem Nitisiri of the Pheu Thai Party, once led by Thaksin’s sister/ex-premier Yingluck Shinawatra.
Meanwhile, Thaksin maintained that he has invariably intended to return home so that he could help out with the sustained pandemic situation. He said he will definitely not look to be named a second-time premier or seek anything else in exchange for his unsolicited offers to provide consultations with the authorities over the pandemic crisis and other national issues.
Remarkably, the ex-premier said it will be no big deal for him even if he might instead be put behind bars upon returning home.
Thaksin suggested Prayut seriously consider whether or not the people nationwide still have any confidence left in him though he may be legally empowered to continue to run the country in times of the pandemic crisis.
The ex-premier urged the current one to wear a PPE suit and pay visits somewhere instead of working from home in the premises of a downtown army barracks. He suggested Prayut visit Bang Sue Grand Station which has become too crowded with many people queuing up for the vaccination against the coronavirus or Thammasat field hospital where medical personnel have been fighting very hard for infected patients.
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Top photo: EPA-EFE, Home Page photo: AFP, both published by The Straits Times