By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan today (Sept. 13) appeared in fraternal relationship with each other following last week’s event in which the latter’s right-hand man was deprived of his cabinet post by the former.
Prayut told reporters at Government House he has had nothing to clear up with Prawit, whom he has apparently regarded as an elder brother following the termination of the post of deputy agriculture and cooperatives minister for Thammanat Prompow and that of deputy labour minister for Naruemon Pinyosinwat, who currently remain as secretary general and treasurer of the Palang Pracharath Party.
Prawit, who concurrently acts as leader of the ruling party, attended today’s meeting of cabinet members at Government House and met with Prayut. Both appeared to talk with each other in usually fraternal fashion though the Palang Pracharath Party leader had earlier looked frustrated at the firing of Thammanat and Naruemon as members of the Prayut cabinet without having been informed of it by the premier beforehand.
Prayut embraced Prawit by the shoulder and saw him off after the meeting at Government House.
Meanwhile, deputy Palang Pracharath Party leader/chief government whip Virat Ratanaset said there is no change in the ruling party’s executive board for the time being and that such matters will solely depend on the party leader.
His comments apparently followed speculation that Thammanat and Naruemon might probably be replaced sooner or later as the party’s secretary general and treasurer respectively after they have been deprived of their cabinet posts.
Thammanat, viewed as Prawit’s right-hand man, had reportedly planned to have some government MPs abstain from voting in a no-confidence motion against Prayut following a four-day censure debate at parliament.
Such a plot had been aborted by a certain member of Thammanat’s own clique in the party, thus triggering allegations that some five million baht in cash bribe had been offered to each government MP in exchange for their vote in support of the premier.
Apart from Thammanat and Naruemon, two other members of the so-called See Chor (four deputies) clique, namely Deputy Finance Minister Santi Prompat and Deputy Transport Minister Athirat Ratanaset apparently made an aboutface to be spared the probability of being ousted from the Prayut cabinet.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha giving Deputy Premier Prawit Wongsuwan a side hug at Government House today (Sept. 13), top, and attending the Cabinet meeting, Home Page. Photos: Siam Rath