By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PALANG PRACHARATH Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan has talked Thai Economic Party secretary-general Thammanat Prompao into changing his mind and literally keeping his distance from the opposition Pheu Thai Party.
Prawit who concurrently performs as deputy prime minister told reporters at Government House today (May 10) that Thammanat, who concurrently is a Thai Economic MP and secretary-general of the pro-government party, will not dine and talk with Pheu Thai MP Yutthapong Charatsathian or any other opposition lawmakers as earlier planned for later this month.
Thammanat who was not available for comment today is invariably seen as a staunch protege of Prawit’s despite the former having been earlier ousted from the latter’s largest coalition party and then joined the brand-new Thai Economic Party.
The Palang Pracharath boss said all coalition legislators including Thammanat and other Thai Economic MPs have been suggested to devote themselves to working for the people instead of collaborating with the opposition bloc to carry out an anti-government conspiracy.
The Thai Economic secretary-general was quoted by Yutthapong as having earlier said he has definitely agreed to meet with the Pheu Thai MPs somewhere on May 23 to map out ways and means to press Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down in the face of his alleged failure and incompetency to run the country or salvage the people nationwide from economic woes after roughly eight years in power.
Prawit’s comments apparently followed news reports of the alleged conspiracy in which Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will be grilled during a censure/no-confidence motion expected in the next few months to the extent that he be finally pressed to step down and be replaced by Prawit, initially as a caretaker head of government.
The conspiracy has been allegedly hatched up for the Pheu Thai MPs, the Thammanat-led Thai Economic MPs and those of pro-government splinter parties to get involved.
Thammanat and Prayut have apparently held grudges against each other following last year’s surprise ouster of the former from the latter’s cabinet. Prayut apparently blamed Thammanat who was then the Palang Pracharath secretary-general for an alleged plot to have a number of coalition MPs outvote him during a post-censure, no-confidence vote.
The embattled premier survived the no-confidence vote amidst allegations that some of those coalition MPs had been given millions of baht in payoff cash to vote in his support.
Pheu Chart Party leader Saranwut Saranket earlier charged that the conspiracy is ultimately designed to depose Prayut and promote Prawit as his replacement, allegedly given Thammanat’s role as a liaison between Pheu Thai Party, “independent” splinter parties and Palang Pracharath Party.
Meanwhile, Prayut will encounter varied challenges at parliament where he might possibly lose or be deprived of his premiership, beginning with a 2023 budget bill, speculated on the House agenda between late May and early June, followed by organic laws on the election for MPs and political parties and the censure/no-confidence motion expected in early July, according to Pheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Chanthararuangthong.
Given a meagre majority of pro-government MPs, the Prayut regime could possibly stumble and fall if those Thai Economic and splinter MPs revolt by either abstaining from voting or even voting against the premier during the no-confidence vote.
In addition, the Constitutional Court is widely speculated to pinpoint exactly when the current premier may have finished a maximum of an eight-year tenure as provided by law.
Prayut’s critics have pointed out that he will have finished his maximum eight-year tenure in August since he rose to power in that month of 2014 following a military coup which he orchestrated as army chief.
But his supporters have contended that he will have finished his eight-year term in 2025 or as late as 2027 either in account of the current constitution which was promulgated in 2017 or in account of a previous general election which occurred in 2019 and saw him successfully named as head of the Palang Pracharath-led coalition government.
Top: Thai Economic Party secretary-general Thammanat Prompao, centre, flanked by Palang Pracharath Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, left, and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, right. Photo: Matichon Weekly
Home Page: Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, in front, and Thammanat Prompao, wearing yellow shirt at rear. Photo: Naewna