By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PALANG PRACHARATH Party secretary-general Santi Prompat today (Nov.10) dismissed refreshed hearsay that he might go party-hopping in bid to help Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha prolong his rule beyond the next general election.
Santi who concurrently performs as deputy finance minister categorically denied that he might probably leave the largest coalition partner for the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party which has been primarily designed to endorse Prayut as partisan candidate for head of a post-election government.
The Palang Pracharath secretary-general assured that he will continue to stay with Palang Pracharath party boss-cum-Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan during a run-up to the next general election and beyond.
Santi is among a few Palang Pracharath cabinet members who might probably be tempted to go party-hopping to help with the reported scheme for Prayut to continue to run the country after the nationwide election. Those referred to Digital Economy & Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn and Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin in addition to the deputy finance minister.
A party to contest the general election is legally obliged to get a minimum of 25 MPs to endorse the naming of a partisan person for prime minister.
It remains to be seen whether the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party led by ex-Democrat MP Pirapan Salirathawipak will finally make the minimum number of elected lawmakers mostly out of currently Palang Pracharath or Democrat MPs or former ones who might possibly defect to the pro-Prayut camp.
Meanwhile, the unelected Prayut who has been allowed by court to prolong his rule until 2025 has yet remained non-committal as to whether and how soon he may join ranks with Pirapan’s camp which will almost certainly support him as partisan contender for prime minister in case that Prawit’s party finally chooses to no longer do so.
In the 2019 general election, the Palang Pracharath Party had named the current premier as the sole partisan candidate for head of government, given overwhelming yea votes from 250 unelected senators, all of whom had been handpicked by the 2014 coup junta under leadership of the then-army chief Prayut.
Top: Palang Pracharath Party secretary-general Santi Prompat. Photo: Matichon Weekly
Front Page; Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, left, and Palang Pracharath Party leader-cum-Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan. Photo: Thai Rath