By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PALANG PRACHARATH Party secretary-general Santi Prompat today (Sept. 25) categorically denied he has quietly planned to defect from the largest coalition partner to Bhumjaithai Party.
Santi who concurrently performs as deputy finance minister dismissed as “groundless” the allegations that he would sooner or later join the Bhumjaithai Party, headed by Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, and contest the next general election under the tickets of the second largest coalition partner.
Santi commented that today’s event in which he accompanied caretaker Prime Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath party leader Prawit Wongsuwan on an official visit to Petchaboon apparently underlined his decision to stay on with the largest coalition partner.
The Palang Pracharath secretary-general has been earlier speculated to contemplate leaving the ruling party, given the possibility that Thai Economic party leader Thammanat Prompao might return to Prawit’s camp if Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s eight-year rule is finally judged by the Constitutional Court to have already ended since last month.
Thammanat had been deposed as deputy agriculture & cooperatives minister by the court-suspended Prayut following last year’s censure/no-confidence motion and had acted as Palang Pracharath secretary-general before he led an exodus of 21 MPs including himself out of Prawit’s camp and was replaced by Santi for the partisan post earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Prawit has continued to pay official visits to the provinces purely in his capacity as caretaker premier and not as top leader of the ruling party, according to the Palang Pracharath secretary-general.
Colossal signs featuring an enlarged portrait of Prawit and the Palang Pracharath party logo have been erected along the road and placards brandished by villagers to greet the visiting caretaker premier who has reportedly followed on the implementation of the government’s policies and measures primarily designed to alleviate the economic woes of the farmers and others in the provinces.
Prawit’s visits were by no means an act of wooing votes from among constituents for any electoral candidates of his party vying in the next general election, he said.
Nevertheless, those gigantic roadside billboards advertising Prawit alongside the Palang Pracharath-led coalition government’s policies and measures could probably prompt allegations of his perpetrating an illicit act of wooing votes from among constituents ahead of the next general election, according to opposition lawmakers citing a guideline recently issued by the Election Commission toward nationwide electoral campaigns.
All electoral candidates including current cabinet members and MPs are legally prohibited from handing out money as a giveaway or donation either in overt or hidden manners as of yesterday which is spanning a 180-day period ahead of March 24, the final date on which the four-year term of the current House of Representatives is scheduled to end unless the House is dissolved in the meantime, thus prompting the general election to be held in a 60-day time.
A giant sign was put up in Petchaboon today (Sept. 25) welcoming caretaker Prime Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath party leader Prawit Wongsuwan, right, and Deputy Finance Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath Party secretary-general Santi Prompat, top left. Photo: INN News