By Thai Newsroom Reporters
BHUMJAITHAI PARTY leader Anutin Charnvirakul today (Jan.3) categorically dismissed speculation that he would merely wait to succeed Prayut Chan-o-cha as prime minister if the current one eventually continued to run the country for two more years after the next general election.
Anutin told reporters there will be no such thing as an “heir apparent” to the top post of government when asked whether he might possibly afford to see Prayut prolong his rule for two more years as provided by law after the nationwide election, regardless of a decisive number of MPs who may successfully endorse a partisan contestant for prime minister, so he would then take his turn to power throughout the latter half of the next House of Representatives’s four-year term.
The deputy prime minister-cum-public health minister insisted that the Bhumjaithai traditionally and automatically become core of a post-election coalition only if the second largest coalition partner, steered by de facto Bhumjaithai boss Newin Chidchob, happened to get most of the elected MPs, thus rendering the opportunity for his rising to power without sharing it with anyone else.
But Anutin, who has earlier confirmed that Bhumjaithai will only name him as the sole partisan contender for prime minister, said it remains to be seen whether the 250 unelected senators might possibly decline to support the one who may be endorsed by a majority of the 500 elected MPs.
The senators, all of whom had been handpicked by the junta in the 2014 coup orchestrated by Prayut as army chief, are largely speculated to vote either for the coup leader-turned-premier or Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan for head of a post-election government.
Prayut who has earlier confirmed he will contest the next election under the Ruam Thai Sang Chart tickets will need a minimum of 25 MPs as required by law to endorse his being named partisan contender for head of a post-election government. The current premier is yet to apply for membership of the brand-new party which is more or less anticipating electoral wins in southern constituencies.
Whilst Newin’s camp is largely speculated to join the pro-Prayut party among others in a future coalition, the former will be very likely to get many more MPs than the latter in the nationwide race to parliament.
Top: Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul, right, and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, left. Photo: Manager Online.
Front Page: Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul at his party’s head office. Photo: Thai Rath