By Thai Newsroom Reporters
DEPUTY PRIME Minister-cum-Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda today (August 31) paid a surprise visit to the Ministry of Defence headquarters only to chit chat with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who is currently stopped by court from performing as head of government.
The trio held the informal talk among themselves and lunched together at the Ministry of Defence headquarters where Prayut has visited in his concurrent capacity as defence minister whilst being suspended at the order of the Constitutional Court from performing his prime-ministerial duties pending a court ruling on his eight-year tenure maximumly provided by law.
Prayut has not visited Government House to join others in weekly cabinet meetings and only attended them in video conference mode since he was ordered by court last week to stop performing as head of government.
Anutin who concurrently heads the second largest coalition Bhumjaithai Party did not confirm or deny hearsay that they have talked about the current political situation surrounding Prayut’s eight-year rule which could probably be judged to have already ended, thus immediately depriving him of his prime-ministerial status. However, the Constitutional Court’s verdict on Prayut’s eight-year rule is expected within next month.
In the meantime, Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan has not as yet discussed possibilities of a cabinet reshuffle with the rank and file of the largest coalition partner though the matter has been largely speculated among partisan members to take place sooner or later, partisan sources said.
The caretaker premier who is legally empowered to reshuffle the cabinet, transfer high-ranking military and police officers and dissolve the House of Representatives has been reportedly poised to be named an outsider candidate for head of the Palang Pracharath-led coalition government if Prayut’s eight-year rule is judged by court to have already ended in accordance with clauses of the current constitution, they said.
Other candidates for prime minister earlier named by parties contesting the 2019 general election would not secure enough votes from coalition MPs and senators, many of whom had been earlier handpicked by Prawit himself, thus finally providing the opportunity for the caretaker premier to assume the top post of government.
Top: Deputy Premier-cum-Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda holding talks with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the Defence Ministry today, August 31. Photo: Pptvhd36.com
Front Page: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha next to the Constitutional Court logo. Photo: Matichon