By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PALANG PRACHARATH PARTY leader Prawit Wongsuwan has now become the sole candidate of the largest ruling party for prime minister in the next general election.
Today’s (Jan.27) Palang Pracharath party caucus has resolved to name Prawit, who concurrently acts as deputy prime minister, as the sole partisan contestant for head of a post-election government, confirmed deputy Palang Pracharath leader Wirat Ratanaset.
The latest Palang Pracharath resolution in promotion of the top party leader categorically dismissed earlier speculation that the ruling party would have a trio of partisan contenders vying for the top post of government after the nationwide election.
Prawit has apparently raised confidence among the party’s rank and file to the extent that he still be able to run the country as the 30th prime minister in competition against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha whom the Palang Pracharath boss had managed to turn into head of the Palang Pracharath-led coalition government following the 2019 election.
Prayut is seeking to prolong his rule for two more years as allowed by law contesting the general election under the Ruam Thai Sang Chart banners.
Meanwhile, the Palang Pracharath is welcoming a likely return of Somkid Jatusripitak and his Si Kumarn clique to Prawit’s camp, according to Palang Pracharath secretary-general Santi Prompat.
Somkid, a former deputy prime minister in charge of economic affairs, could be very helpful to the Palang Pracharath economic team, Santi said.
The other likely returnees to Prawit’s camp include former finance minister Uttama Savanayana and former energy minister Sontirat Sontijirawong.
Somkid, Uttama and Sontirat have largely been speculated to leave the Sang Anakhot Thai as chairman, leader and secretary-general of the futureless party respectively for the Palang Pracharath sooner than later.
The Sang Anakhot Thai has earlier tried to merge with the Thai Sang Thai, headed by former cabinet member Sudarat Keyurapan, but chances of a final agreement between the two newly-formed parties have looked so slim, prompting the former to return to Prawit’s camp.
Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan addressing the party caucus today, above, and general view of the meeting, Front Page. Top photo: Matichon, Front Page photo: Thai Rath