By Thai Newsroom Reporters
POSSIBILITIES OF PRIME Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha jumping onto the Palang Pracharath bandwagon under which he may contest the next general election are exponentially dwindling, said partisan sources today (Dec.1).
The longer Prayut is apparently dragging his feet, remaining non-committal over his own political future, the less likely he will be accepted even as a No.2 Palang Pracharath candidate for head of a post-election government, let alone No.1, said the sources who only spoke on condition that they not be identified.
The reluctant Prayut told reporters today he has been “contemplating” whether or how he may make a move toward the nationwide election since he has earlier proclaimed his intention to prolong his rule beyond it.
Prayut may have worried about probabilities that the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party which has reportedly planned to name him a partisan contender for prime minister might finally fail to have a minimum of 25 elected MPs to be legally allowed to do so at all, the sources said.
“Prayut probably has had the feeling that he is headed for a dilemma between being named a No.2 Palang Pracharath candidate which he certainly would not want to and being named a sole Ruam Thai Sang Chart contestant without adequate support from a minimum of 25 MPs.
“But the time for the possibility of his being attached to the Palang Pracharath is running out quickly,” a partisan source commented.
Nevertheless, the ruling Palang Pracharath Party might probably choose to name party boss-cum-Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan as the No.1 candidate for prime minister and relegate Prayut as the No.2 rather than the other way around, the partisan source said.
Given a speculated trio of Palang Pracharath candidates for prime minister, former police chief Chakthip Chaijinda might probably contest as the No.3 contender, given the dwindling possibility that Prayut might finally agree to being named the No.2 himself.
Palang Pracharath MP Verakorn Khamprakop earlier suggested that Prayut leave the post-election premiership to the party boss and that the current premier assume the post of defence minister instead. But those among the rank and file of Prawit’s camp have doubted Prayut who concurrently acts as defence minister would finally agree to that.
In the meantime, the pro-Prayut Ruam Thai Sang Chart has been allegedly trying to steal away a number of Palang Pracharath MPs from the largest coalition partner, thus considerably irritating the party boss, the sources said.
Suchart Chomklin has recently quit as Palang Pracharath director amidst allegations that he had clandestinely persuaded some of the Palang Pracharath MPs to hop over to the Ruam Thai Sang Chart to which he himself will very likely defect.
Prayut has been more or less suspected by the rank and file of the Palang Pracharath to be quietly looking for shenanigans under which those MPs might possibly hop over to the Ruam Thai Sang Chart in support of his thinly-veiled design to remain in power beyond the next race to parliament.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, right, and Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan, left, in front of a cracked sheet of glass with logos of Palang Pracharath and Ruam Thai Sang Chart behind.
Front Page: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House. Both photos: Thai Rath