By Thai Newsroom Reporters
MANY SENATORS WOULD almost certainly take the people’s decisions to be made in the next general election into account and endorse a partisan contestant for prime minister who may be supported by most MPs, said Senator Wanchai Sonsiri today (Jan.14).
Wanchai categorically dismissed speculation that most of the 250 senators would rather pick either Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who is contesting to retain power under the Ruam Thai Sang Chart banners or Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan who is vying for head of a post-election government under the Palang Pracharath tickets and nobody else.
The lawyer-turned-senator contended that many of his colleagues in the Senate would respect the people’s votes in the nationwide election and would likely pick a partisan contestant for prime minister in line with a majority of the elected MPs, totally accounting for 500, who may manage to set up a post-election coalition of their own just before the contender is successfully named and given their decisive support.
Given an overwhelming support from the future coalition MPs, any partisan contestant other than Prayut and Prawit could possibly be endorsed accordingly by a majority of senators for prime minister, according to the outspoken senator.
Wanchai’s comments apparently contradicted those who have remarked that most of the 250 unelected senators would rather not vote for any Pheu Thai partisan contestants for prime minister, given their antagonistic sentiment against de facto party boss Thaksin Shinawatra.
The former premier who has been taking self-exile overseas has openly craved a homecoming to stay and literally babysit his seven grandchildren on condition that the Pheu Thai score a landslide victory in the general election and become core of a coalition government.
Speculated to run for prime minister under the Pheu Thai tickets is Thaksin’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra among a trio of partisan contestants.
A partisan candidate for prime minister is legally obliged to secure support from just over half the total of legislators in the House of Representatives and Senate combined, accounting for 375, to become head of a post-election government.
A contesting party is legally bound to get a minimum of 25 MPs to name a partisan contender for prime minister.
Senator Wanchai Sonsiri. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo Matichon Weekly