OVER A DOZEN OPPOSITION MPs will readily help Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha survive a censure/no-confidence motion expected in late May or early June by either casting their vote for him or abstaining from voting, a partisan source said today (Mar.16).
The “renegade” MPs will practically turn coats to vote in support of Prayut or simply abstain from voting despite their being part of the opposition bloc dutifully obliged to vote against the head of government or other cabinet members following censure debate at parliament.
Given a meagre majority of MPs, the multiple-party coalition government will need the help from the “renegade” MPs who have already been and will be given some “bananas” in hush-hush fashion in return for their pro-Prayut stand, said the partisan source who only spoke on condition of anonymity. In modern political jargon, “bananas” metaphorically refers to a payoff in cash.
Though those pro-Prayut MPs could probably be ousted from the opposition camps due to failure to observe partisan resolutions toward the no-confidence vote, they would certainly opt for enrollment with a coalition partner and retain their MP status in 30 days’ time as provided by law.
Even ahead of the censure/no-confidence motion which could be lodged upon the reopening of parliamentary sessions scheduled for May 22, each of the “renegade” MPs currently attached to the opposition bloc has already been receiving some 200,000 baht in monthly kickback plus a promise for tens of millions of baht in lump sum to follow, according to former premier Thaksin Shinawatra who joined last month’s live streaming podcast in a Care Clubhouse programme from Dubai.
The opposition MPs allegedly given part of the pro-Prayut plot to play during the no-confidence motion are currently mingling with the rank and file of Pheu Thai Party, Move Forward Party and Prachachart Party, among others, the partisan source said.
Deputy Prime Minister/Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul earlier confided to Prayut that the yea votes in support of the embattled premier would roughly amount to 260, literally taking into account the “renegade” MPs on the opposition bloc and not even including a clique of 18 Thai Economic MPs headed by a “rebellious” former deputy agriculture & cooperatives minister Thammanat Prompao.
Nevertheless, a dozen lawmakers of splinter parties, most of which only have one MP each, would still be needed to strengthen the pro-Prayut force in the House of Representatives, the source said.
Thammanat has obviously strived to join ranks with the splinter MPs, thus prompting Prayut to manage to keep them on his side and away from the ex-Palang Pracharath secretary-general whom he kicked out of his cabinet following last September’s censure/no-confidence motion.
Deputy Prime Minister/Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan reassured the invitation of the splinter MPs to a dinner party tomorrow but stopped short of saying if Prayut will come along.
Last week, Prayut hosted a dinner for the top leaders of major coalition partners, namely Palang Pracharath Party, Bhumjaithai Party and Democrat Party, apparently fueling the shared sentiment of the splinter camps that they had been left unattended by the premier.
Top:Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha holding the arm of Deputy Prime Minister/Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan. Photo: Matichon Weeekly
Home Page: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Photo: NNT