By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THAI ECONOMIC MP Thammanat Prompao today (Mar.11) managed to keep several splinter parties consolidated as an “independent group” of lawmakers who may or may not cast a vote of confidence for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha following a future censure debate.
Thammanat hosted a luncheon for members of varied splinter parties, most of which currently have one MP, at a Bangkok hotel following a dinner recently arranged for major coalition partners at the invitation of Prayut.
The attendees of the Thammanat-hosted luncheon included the MPs of New Democracy Party, Thai Rak Dharma Party, Pheu Chart Thai Party, Thai Local Power Party and Thai Forest Conservation Party, among others.
Despite being part of the multiple-party coalition government, none of the splinter parties was invited to the Prayut-hosted dinner during which Deputy Prime Minister/Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan reportedly vowed to manage to keep all Thai Economic MPs, except for Thammanat, supportive to the premier.
Thammanat and 17 other MPs under his command, none of whom was invited to the Prayut-hosted dinner, have joined Thai Economic Party following their ouster from Palang Pracharath Party in January.
Meanwhile, Thammanat categorically dismissed allegations that he looked to hand out some “bananas” in hush-hush fashion to the luncheon attendees only to keep them consolidated with him. In current political jargon, the word “bananas” metaphorically refers to a payoff in cash.
However, the former deputy agriculture & cooperatives minister confirmed that he will continue to take care of those MPs of the splinter parties since he managed to bring them into the Palang Pracharath-led coalition about three years ago.
Thammanat declined to comment whether those lawmakers will finally seek reelection as MP under the banners of the brand-new Thai Economic Party.
He reassured that the “independent” MPs including those of Thai Economic Party will primarily tend to the interests and well-being of the people rather than the coalition government’s political stability.
It remains to be seen how the “independent” MPs who may not necessarily cast votes in accordance with any partisan resolutions of the coalition or opposition bloc will react to a no-confidence vote which will follow the censure debate against Prayut and any other cabinet members speculated in May or June.
Thai Economic MP Thammanat Prompao together with MPs of some splinter parties at today’s luncheon. Photos: Matichon