By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A DOZEN “RENEGADE” MPs under leadership of maverick MP Thammanat Prompao are only looking to return to the ruling Palang Pracharath Party on a conditional basis which has been taken into account, according to partisan sources.
Those “renegade” MPs currently attached to the Thai Economic Party have demanded that their possible comeback to the Palang Pracharath, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, may only take place on condition that the largest coalition partner no longer name Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha as partisan candidate for head of a post-election government as had been the case in the 2019 general election.
Besides, the speculated return of the Thammanat clique to the Palang Pracharath may only occur on condition that Palang Pracharath secretary-general-cum-Deputy Finance Minister Santi Prompat practically depart from Prawit’s camp for whatever reasons, said the sources who only spoke on condition that they not be identified.
Prawit has contemplated the Thammanat clique’s conditional comeback to his ruling camp but has not as yet made any decision known at the moment, the sources said.
Whilst Prayut has remained non-committal as to whether he may ever join ranks with the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party, reportedly set up to support his thinly-veiled design to prolong his rule beyond the next general election, albeit for only about two more years as provided by law, Santi might probably opt to jump onto the bandwagon of the pro-Prayut party, the partisan sources said.
Thammanat and Santi had earlier locked horns with each other over “critical conflict of interest” which finally prompted the former to lead an exodus of 21 “renegade” MPs including himself from Prawit’s camp and be replaced by the latter as Palang Pracharath secretary-general.
Prior to the departure of the “renegade” clique of MPs from the Palang Pracharath, Thammanat had been kicked out of the Prayut cabinet shortly after last year’s censure/no-confidence motion for alleged involvement in a hush-hush ploy to have certain coalition and splinter-party MPs abstain from voting in support of the premier.
Nevertheless, the Thammanat clique and others among the rank and file of the largest coalition partner would almost certainly prefer to have the Palang Pracharath boss named as No. 1 among a trio of partisan contenders for prime minister, the partisan sources said.
It remains to be seen for whom all 250 senators will cast yea votes alongside a majority of elected MPs as head of government following the nationwide election speculated early next year.
The senators, all of whom had been handpicked by a Prayut-led junta following the 2014 coup, might probably be divided when it comes to the picking of a candidate for prime minister, they said.
Meanwhile, Santi has been reportedly wooed to leave Prawit’s camp for the pro-Prayut one though he has been apparently entrusted by the Palang Pracharath boss to steer strategic partisan campaigns for the next race to parliament.
Today, Prayut paid an official visit to Petchaboon, which reportedly has constituencies under care of the Palang Pracharath secretary-general.
Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin is more or less expected to leave the Palang Pracharath for the Ruam Thai Sang Chart alongside some fellow MPs representing eastern and western constituencies in effort to help the brand-new party get a minimum of 25 MPs as required by law to be eligible to name a partisan candidate for prime minister.
Top: Maverick MP Thammanat Prompao, left, and Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan, right. Photo: Matichon Weekly
Front Page: MP Thammanat Prompao. Photo: INN News