By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha may opt to run for head of government under the banners of the brand-new Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party in lieu of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party for the next general election, according to a noted academic.
Burapa University political scientist Olarn Thinbangteo forecast today (Nov.21) Prayut would finally choose the Ruam Thai Sang Chart rather than the Palang Pracharath in spite of “fraternal” relationships which he has continually fostered with Palang Pracharath boss-cum-Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan.
Prayut who has literally kept his distance from the rank and file of Prawit’s party could possibly secure sizeable votes of support from among constituents nationwide only if he joined the Ruam Thai Sang Chart headed by former Democrat MP Pirapan Salirathawipak, the Burapa academic commented.
The coup leader-turned-premier who has earlier made it public that he had intended to prolong his rule for two more years provided by law after the next general election has so far declined to make comments about his own political future, saying it would be decided upon after the Apec meetings hosted by Thailand have ended.
Olarn advised Prayut join the Ruam Thai Sang Chart which is speculated to make no less than 25 MPs minimally provided by law to name a partisan candidate for prime minister whilst the Palang Pracharath has been evidently riddled with inner conflict and division.
“Given a gradual decline in the popularity of the Palang Pracharath Party, Prayut would rather turn to the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party for his own good,” the political scientist said.
A number of veteran MPs, past and present, could probably be lured into the Ruam Thai Sang Chart which will certainly endorse Prayut’s efforts to retain his premiership after the next general election, Olarn said.
Some of the MPs of the Palang Pracharath, the largest coalition partner, might probably hop over to the pro-Prayut party whilst others would fear being defeated in their reelection bids if Prayut remained with Prawit’s camp, according to the academic.
In addition to some “would-be renegade” Palang Pracharath MPs, some Democrat MPs currently representing southern constituencies might hop over to the Ruam Thai Sang Chart, he said.
Meanwhile, veteran Palang Pracharath MP Verakorn Khamprakop suggested that Prayut stay with Prawit and run for prime minister under the ruling party’s tickets rather than join the Ruam Thai Sang Chart.
The Palang Pracharath has had the potential to retain themselves as core of a coalition government with Prawit being picked for prime minister, given solid support from a majority of elected MPs plus 250 senators after the next general election, Verakorn said.
Prayut would probably be named a deputy prime minister under a future Palang Pracharath-led government for roughly a two-year time after the nationwide election, speculated early next year, Verakorn said.
The MP of Nakhon Sawan said he doubted the Ruam Thai Sang Chart could get a minimum of 25 MPs as provided by law to name a partisan contender for prime minister, however.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Top photo: Sanook.com, Front Page photo: Thai Rath