By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PALANG PRACHARATH Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan said today (Oct. 29) there will be no cabinet reshuffle on the part of the largest coalition partner anytime soon following an internal conflict which he said has already come to an end.
No cabinet members attached to the disintegrated Palang Pracharath Party will be reshuffled in near future as speculated in the media whereas its internal conflict has already been solved with Thammanat Prompow staying put as the party’s secretary-general, according to Prawit who concurrently acts as deputy prime minister.
Most Palang Pracharath MPs and executive board members have obviously endorsed Thammanat as party secretary-general though some may have tried to have him ousted, Prawit said.
He made his comments in response to the recent event in which seven Palang Pracharath cabinet members had quit the party’s executive board in a fruitless effort to press for the setting up of a new one of which Thammanat might otherwise have been deprived.
Given their failure to have Thammanat ousted, those Palang Pracharath cabinet members may anticipate sort of a retaliation sooner or later by the party leader who has decisively taken sides with the besieged party secretary-general.
According to Digital Economy & Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha would prefer to see a major change in the top-ranking hierarchy of Prawit’s party with Thammanat having become a primary target for majority members of its executive board to hit him with an ouster.
But Prawit suggested the premier should not ever interfere in internal affairs of any government parties, specifically his own, and maintained that the party secretary-general has performed too well to be kicked out for the time being while those who might have replaced him were nobody but his partisan opponents.
The Palang Pracharath party leader apparently referred to Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin and Deputy Finance Minister Santi Prompat who might otherwise have been named secretary-general if Thammanat was eventually ousted from such a decisive post.
Last month, Prayut deposed Thammanat as deputy agriculture and cooperatives minister alongside Naruemon Pinyosinwat as deputy labour minister without caring to have informed Prawit beforehand as both have been viewed as personally close to the Palang Pracharath party leader.
Prayut held Thammanat responsible for an aborted plot to have a number of Palang Pracharath MPs plus some others of splinter parties abstain from voting in support of the former in a post-censure, no-confidence motion.
Shortly after Prayut was finally alerted of the hush-hush plot allegedly designed against him, a payoff scandal allegedly emerged with five million baht in cash being offered to each of those MPs in exchange for their vote in his favour. The alleged kickback money was handed out in the room reserved for use by the premier at parliament, prompting an in-depth investigation into the scandal.
The Palang Pracharath party secretary-general is still feared by pro-Prayut elements to stand in the way of the army chief-turned-premier’s publicly-announced desire to prolong his rule for five more years from now.
Top: Deputy Prime Minister and Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan.
Home Page: Palang Pracharath Party secretary-general Thammanat Prompow. Both photos: Siam Rath