By Thai Newsroom Reporters
FORMER PRIME MINISTER Thaksin Shinawatra’s daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, and real estate tycoon Settha Taweesin, both speculated to run for prime minister under the Pheu Thai tickets, would likely be found “unacceptable” to most senators even though either one could possibly be endorsed by a majority of MPs after the next general election, according to a source associated with military senators.
It would be unlikely for most of the 250 senators, all of whom had been handpicked by the 2014 coup junta under leadership of army chief-turned-premier Prayut Chan-o-cha, to cast a yea vote either for Paetongtarn or Settha as long as anti-Thaksin sentiment remains among the unelected lawmakers, said the source who only spoke on condition of anonymity today (Jan.11).
Despite possibilities of the Pheu Thai scoring a landslide victory for 250-plus MPs among a total of 500 in the nationwide election, plus additional backups from a few other contesting parties, the likes of Paetongtarn and Settha would be “unacceptable” to the anti-Thaksin senators, according to the source personally connected with military senators.
That is entirely regardless of how many votes the people nationwide might possibly overwhelmingly cast for the Pheu Thai, guided by de facto party boss Thaksin, or how many MPs there might possibly be in support of his daughter or the real estate tycoon, personally close to his sister/former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The 2017 constitution empowers the unelected senators to vote alongside the elected MPs for head of a post-election government, given an unprecedented section allegedly designed by the coup junta.
Whilst a third person to run among a trio of Pheu Thai partisan candidates for prime minister might probably be unveiled in near future, roadside campaign posters of the party ostensibly feature a portrait of Thaksin’s daughter.
In spite of speculated endorsement from a majority of MPs led by Pheu Thai MPs for a Pheu Thai partisan contestant for prime minister, the anti-Thaksin senators might possibly abstain from casting votes, the source said.
If the number of MPs in support of a Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister amounted to less than half the total 750 lawmakers from the House of Representatives and Senate combined, their yea votes could probably come short without a pivotal backup from the senators, thus aborting the entire process for the picking of head of a post-election government.
Most senators, especially those being concurrent or retired military officers, might only prefer picking either the current premier who has been allowed by court to prolong his rule for two more years or Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan and nobody else for head of a post-election government.
Prayut and Prawit will likely run as the sole partisan contestant for prime minister under the Ruam Thai Sang Chart and Palang Pracharath banners respectively.
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra and real estate tycoon Settha Taweesin. Top photo: Matichon Weekly, Front Page photo: Matichon