By Thai Newsroom Reporters
JUSTICE MINISTER SOMSAK Thepsuthin today (Oct. 25) downplayed fresh speculation that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan might probably take turns between themselves to run the country for two years each after the next general election.
Somsak, who concurrently acts as head of the Palang Pracharath strategic campaign team and leader of the Sam Mit Group inside the largest coalition partner, categorically denied that such hearsay surrounding Prayut’s plan to prolong his rule roughly for a two-year time after the next general election and possibilities of Prawit immediately succeeding him as prime minister has ever been discussed among the rank and file of the ruling party.
His comments were apparently made in response to speculation that Prawit might probably succeed Prayut as head of government immediately after the latter has finished the first half of a four-year term following the nationwide election for MPs, expected early next year.
According to Somsak whose faction has been more or less speculated to leave the Palang Pracharath Party for the Pheu Thai Party during a run-up to the next general election, the unconfirmed news reports would only confuse those inside and outside of the political arena whilst the Palang Pracharath leadership is not going to take it into consideration until some time in the future.
Prayut who has been allowed by court to prolong his rule until 2025 has remained tight-lipped when asked by reporters to confirm whether he may ever apply for membership of Prawit’s party so he would be named a partisan candidate for head of a post-election government again.
Neither has Prawit made a comment after Pheu Thai Party leader Chonlanan Srikaew had advised that the Palang Pracharath Party and the Pheu Thai Party might possibly join hands with each other after the next general election to set up a coalition of their own on condition that Prayut be no longer named a partisan candidate for prime minister.
However, Prawit’s camp which had named Prayut as a sole partisan candidate for prime minister after the 2019 general election is more or less speculated to name a trio of partisan contenders in the next race to parliament, either with or without the current premier being included.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, left in photo above and right in Front Page image, together with Deputy Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan. Credit: Matichon and Matichon Weekly