By Thai Newsroom Reporters
FORMER PRIME MINISTER Thaksin Shinawatra alleged yesterday (Feb.15) certain opposition MPs have been offered handsome payoffs in exchange for future defection to a certain coalition partner in government.
During a Care Talk/Care Clubhouse live streaming programme, the ex-premier said he has been informed of the hush-hush, ongoing effort on the part of the unidentified coalition partner to tempt opposition MPs including those of Pheu Thai Party with kickbacks in cash into switching sides and joining ranks with coalition MPs.
Without naming names, Thaksin aka Tony Woodsome alleged some of the opposition MPs have been offered as much as 20 million to 30 million baht in payoff while others have been provided 200,000 baht in monthly pay in return for the planned defection ahead of the next general election.
According to the ex-premier who has been staying in self-exile in Dubai, the unidentified Pheu Thai MPs had quietly attended a meeting of coalition MPs in exchange for such hidden monthly pay and with intent to defect to the kickback-paying coalition party and run under its tickets in the future election.
The bribe-taking MPs could probably turn coats by casting a vote of confidence for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and any other cabinet members following censure debate tentatively scheduled for May despite their remaining in the Pheu Thai-led opposition bloc.
The alleged kickback effort has quietly emerged amidst fears that a clique of 18 Thai Economic MPs led by ousted Palang Pracharath secretary-general Thammanat Prompow plus a group of 14 to 16 MPs of splinter parties might either abstain from voting or vote against the premier and others.
Thaksin said all MPs would certainly fear electoral defeats and might switch sides in effort to avoid being outvoted in their reelection campaigns. But, he said, contesting under the banners of the ”wrong party” with lost confidence of the people, those MPs could be defeated in the election.
He likened the MPs to a fighting cock whose price could be as low as 35 baht if they lose in the fight and as high as 300,000 baht if they win.
Thaksin commented Prayut has apparently turned blind eye and deaf ear to money talk among those politicians as well as government officials who would merely look to make personal and partisan gains and leave the people’s woes unattended.
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Top photo: Reuters and published by BBC; Home Page photo: EPA-EFE and published by The Straits Times
Home Page main photo: Payoff written on a blackboard. Photo by GotCredit (CC BY 2.0)