By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE PHEU THAI TODAY (Jan.4) categorically dismissed hearsay that the largest opposition party had been involved in an initial agreement with a few others to the setting up of a future coalition ahead of the next general election.
Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew denied that his party had initially agreed in hush-hush fashion with the others to the extent that they might possibly join hands to form a coalition government among themselves prior to the nationwide election.
Chonlanan’s comments were made in response to speculation that the Pheu Thai, steered by de facto party boss/former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the Palang Pracharath, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, and the Bhumjaithai, guided by de facto party boss Newin Chidchob, might possibly jointly manage to set up a coalition of their own even before the nationwide race to parliament is held.
The Pheu Thai leader repeatedly expressed optimism that his camp would get more than 250 MPs out of a total of 500 in both constituency-based and party-listed modes so they could be practically pivotal to the making of a post-election government.
Such initial agreements allegedly reached among certain contesting parties for a future coalition could probably spoil the popularity and confidence for the Pheu Thai which has earlier proclaimed their unwavering intent to score a landslide victory in the nationwide election, the Pheu Thai leader said.
Given an army of 250-plus elected MPs, the Pheu Thai will undoubtedly be ready to meet challenges of the 250 unelected senators who might possibly disregard the people’s decisions to vote for their electoral candidates, he said.
The senators, all of whom had been handpicked by the junta in the 2014 coup orchestrated by the then-army chief Prayut Chan-o-cha, are largely expected to pick either the coup leader-turned-premier or the Palang Pracharath boss for head of a post-election government.
Prayut has earlier confirmed he will run as the sole partisan contestant for prime minister under the Ruam Thai Sang Chart tickets whilst Prawit will contest it under the banners of the largest coalition partner Palang Pracharath.
The Pheu Thai will shortly declare a trio of partisan contenders for prime minister among whom Thaksin’s youngest daughter, Paetongtarn “Oong Ing” Shinawatra, will most likely be included whilst the second largest coalition partner Bhumjaithai has reportedly planned to name party leader Anutin Charnvirakul as the sole partisan candidate for the top post of government.
Top: Pheu Thai Party leader Chonlanan Srikaew.
Insert: Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra with his daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra.
Front Page: Paetongtarn Shinawatra will likely be among Pheu Thai Party’s trio partisan contenders for premiership. All photos: Thai Rath