By Thai Newsroom Reporters
FORMER PALANG PRACHARATH Party secretary-general Thammanat Prompow yesterday (Feb. 2) categorically denied he has been involved in a hush-hush negotiation for a few cabinet seats which could possibly be provided by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Thammanat dismissed such hearsay as “groundless” and contended that a clique of 20 MPs under his command and he himself will invariably tend to “creative politics” and only perform in the course of interests of the people without behind-closed-door dealings for personal or partisan gains.
The former Palang Pracharath secretary-general who was formally expelled alongside those MPs from the biggest coalition partner in government due to internal conflict with a few partisan members of cabinet denied he and his fellow lawmakers would continue to support Prayut only if they were finally given a few cabinet posts.
Thammanat, who is currently being quarantined upon return from a European trip, said he has not looked to land any ministerial seats for himself, any of his fellow MPs or Wit Thephasadin na Ayudhya, leader of Thai Economic Party where they have already registered themselves as partisan members.
He stopped short of either confirming or denying speculation that his clique might probably join ranks with the Pheu Thai Party-led opposition bloc when it comes deliberation of government legislations or decrees at parliament.
Nevertheless, Deputy Prime Minister/Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan earlier commented that the Thammanat clique would continue to support the Prayut government though they have departed for the new party led by Wit, largely known as a close associate of Prawit’s and former head of Palang Pracharath Party’s strategic campaign team.
Prawit stopped short of elaborating as to whether a few ministerial seats would be finally given to the Thammanat clique in exchange for their continued support for the Palang Pracharath-led coalition government.
The stability of the Prayut regime has apparently declined due to a drop in the number of supportive MPs of the disintegrated Palang Pracharath Party following the exodus of the Thammanat faction whereas splinter parties with one MP each are more or less speculated to join ranks with the Thammanat clique when it comes to legislative affairs.
However, Prayut has maintained that he will not either reshuffle his cabinet or dissolve the House of Representatives and call a general election as continually pressed by his critics anytime soon due to deeply-trenched conflict which he has reportedly developed with the ex-Palang Pracharath secretary-general since last year’s censure debate and no-confidence motion.
The Prayut cabinet has remained unchanged since last September’s ouster of Thammanat and Naruemon Pinyosinwat as deputy agriculture & cooperatives minister and deputy labour minister respectively following a censure debate and no-confidence motion.
The army chief-turned-premier will be faced with a fresh censure debate without a subsequent vote of confidence later this month and another one with a subsequent vote of confidence upon the opening of a regular House session in May following a two-month recess.
It remains to be seen whether any members of the Thammanat faction will take the premier to task during the tentatively-scheduled censure debate.
The former Palang Pracharath secretary-general recently posted on his Facebook page to congratulate Pheu Thai Party’s triumph over Palang Pracharath Party in last Sunday’s by-election for MP in Bangkok’s Constituency 9 with a sensational catchphrase saying “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” fueling speculation that he will by no means manage to come to terms with Prayut.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, centre, Deputy Prime Minister/Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan, right, and former Palang Pracharath secretary-general Thammanat Prompow, left. Photo: Matichon Weekly
Home Page: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, right, and former Palang Pracharath secretary-general Thammanat Prompow, left. Photo: Matichon Weekly