By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha was today (Feb.23) strongly suggested by a noted academic to manage to have the military top brass make a “promise” to the public that they will never stage a coup as he did eight years ago.
During today’s seminar marking the 31st anniversary of the 1991 coup, Thammasat University law lecturer Prinya Thewanarumitkul called on Prayut who as army chief himself orchestrated the 2014 coup to manage to have the current top brass members in the army and other armed forces make the “promise” to the people to never commit such undemocratic acts by staging any more coup.
Prinya remarked previous coups were by no means a solution to any of the country’s problems but merely prompted the undermining of democratic rule and the birth of undemocratic constitutions like the current one drafted by a military-installed committee and approved by a military-installed national assembly in 2017.
Since Prayut rose to power by way of the coup, the poor have been hard hit by economic woes and the rich have become richer whereas social disparity has widened and social division has prevailed, the academic commented.
Pheu Thai Party leader Chonlanan Srikaew earlier commented a future coup could not be categorically ruled out in the face of a sustained political crisis besieging the Prayut regime and its coalition partners.
In another development, Wit Thephasadin na Ayudhya, former head of Palang Pracharath Party’s strategic campaign team, and Thammanat Prompao, former secretary-general of the ruling party, will very likely be named leader and secretary-general of Thai Economic Party respectively, partisan sources confirmed today.
Wit, who has already applied as member of Thai Economic Party, is very likely to take the helm of the brand-new party with Thammanat performing as secretary-general of the party, the sources said.
Thai Economic Party is scheduled to hold a caucus next month during which those who may take the party’s leadership and key executive posts will be named.
Due to internal partisan conflict, Thammanat and 20 MPs were ousted from Palang Pracharath Party, 18 of whom have joined Thai Economic Party and the three others have turned to Bhumjaithai Party.
Nevertheless, Palang Pracharath Party leader/Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan has assured the Thammanat-led group of MPs will remain supportive to the Palang Pracharath-led coalition government, particularly when it comes to a censure motion with a subsequent no-confidence vote against Prayut and other members of cabinet.
Thammanat has not either confirmed or denied speculation that his clique of 18 MPs would join the Pheu Thai-led opposition bloc in casting a vote against Prayut.
According to the partisan sources, Prayut might probably reshuffle his cabinet ahead of the censure debate tentatively scheduled for May.
The premier has not as yet reshuffled his cabinet since he deposed Thammanat as deputy agriculture & cooperatives minister alongside Naruemon Pinyosinwat as deputy labour minister following last September’s censure and no-confidence motion.
Thammanat was allegedly held responsible for a hush-hush, aborted plot in which certain coalition MPs had been told to abstain from voting in support of Prayut following the marathon debate.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who as army chief had mounted the May 22, 2014 coup. Photo Reuters and published by BBC
Home Page: Soldiers moved rapidly to take control in Bangkok during the May 22, 2014 coup. Photo: Reuters and published by BBC