By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PALANG PRACHARATH Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan today (Oct. 26) declined to comment whether the party’s secretary-general Thammanat Prompow might possibly be replaced in near future.
Prawit, who concurrently acts as deputy prime minister, did not either confirm or deny fresh speculation that Thammanat might be deprived of the current post as secretary-general of the largest coalition partner in government sooner or later.
Prawit who told reporters that he did not know anything about such hearsay has been so far holding the helm of Palang Pracharath Party under pressure from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who allegedly prefers to see Thammanat removed from the post of the party’s secretary-general. Prayut earlier ousted Thammanat as deputy agriculture and cooperatives minister following last month’s no-confidence motion at parliament.
Meanwhile, Palang Pracharath Party is expected to hold a caucus soon to pick a new executive board of the party, thus not only fueling the speculation that the secretary-general be replaced but the party leader be changed as well.
Some Palang Pracharath MPs have allegedly planned to name Prayut as new leader of the ruling party in place of Prawit. Given such a mapped-out scenario, the ouster of Thammanat as the party’s secretary-general would almost certainly follow.
A number of Palang Pracharath MPs representing Bangkok and southern constituencies have been considerably dissatisfied with partisan polls recently conducted by the party’s secretary-general which reportedly saw most of them fail in the evaluation of their performances dutifully looking after their constituents’ welfare and benefits.
Thammanat is feared to stand in the way of Prayut seeking to prolong his power for five more years from now since the Palang Pracharath secretary-general was apparently blamed for an aborted plot to have a number of MPs of Palang Pracharath Party and splinter ones abstain from voting in support of the premier during last month’s post-censure, no-confidence motion.
Those MPs were allegedly given as much as five millions of baht in kickback cash to turn around and cast their vote for Prayut. The alleged payoff was handed out in a room reserved for use by the premier at parliament, prompting House Speaker Chuan Leekpai to order an investigation into the scandal.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, centre, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, left, and Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda, right.
Home Page: Prime Minister Prayut, left, and Palang Pracharat Party secretary-general Thammanat Prompow, right, with party logo in the background. Both photos: Matichon