By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha would rather not stand in the way of Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan who has apparently inspired himself to rise to power after an upcoming general election, according to de facto Pheu Thai boss Thaksin Shinawatra.
Thaksin who made his comments during last night’s (Feb.7) Care Clubhouse live podcast said Prayut would not compete against Prawit for the top post of government and would rather give way for the Palang Pracharath to become core of a coalition in which the Bhumjaithai and Ruam Thai Sang Chart, among others, might possibly join.
The Palang Pracharath boss who concurrently acts as deputy prime minister and will definitely be named partisan contestant for prime minister may not only be endorsed by the MPs on one side of the parliament chamber’s aisle but many of the 250 senators, all of whom had been handpicked by the 2014 coup junta under leadership of the then-army chief Prayut.
On the other hand, Thaksin commented, Prawit would no longer leave the top post of government to Prayut despite the latter’s pursuit of retaining power for two more years under the Ruam Thai Sang Chart tickets, given the likelihood that the Palang Pracharath will win far more MP seats than the Ruam Thai Sang Chart in the nationwide election.
Given Prayut’s speculated concession to Prawit’s designed rise to power, the senators would undoubtedly vote in support of the latter otherwise their votes would likely be divided between the two of them, according to the former premier, who is specifically named Tony Woodsome for his biweekly live podcast from Dubai.
However, it remains to be seen whether Prayut will be named partisan contender for prime minister again, given legal obligations for a contesting party to have a minimum of five percent of the total 500 MPs, accounting for 25, to be eligible to name one in the first place.
Thaksin said Prayut would rather have no choice but to leave the post-election premiership to Prawit who could possibly manage to get more support from elected lawmakers of his camp and others plus most of the unelected senators to endorse him for it.
Prawit who had managed to land Prayut the premiership following the 2019 election would undoubtedly contemplate taking his turn after the upcoming race to parliament.
Nevertheless, the de facto Pheu Thai boss said possibilities of Prawit rising to power will be ultimately denied by the predicted landslide victory of the Pheu Thai which could potentially create an alliance with a few other anti-Prayut parties to grab no less than 350 MP seats combined. That compared to no less than 300 MP seats which he had earlier forecast for the Pheu Thai and other pro-democracy camps combined.
A partisan contestant for prime minister is legally obliged to win support from a simple majority of MPs and senators combined, or at least 376 of the total 750 legislators, to become one.
Meanwhile, Thaksin categorically dismissed speculation that the Pheu Thai might probably join hands with the Palang Pracharath to set up a coalition of their own, regardless of who might be successfully named prime minister.
Whilst the Palang Pracharath and Ruam Thai Sang Chart will almost certainly name only one partisan contender for prime minister, the Pheu Thai has reportedly planned to name a trio, including Thaksin’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra, real estate tycoon Settha Taweesin, viewed as personally close to Thaksin’s sister/former premier Yingluck Shinawatra, and a third one whose name has not been unveiled to the public yet.
Paetongtarn recently dismissed speculation that former foreign minister Surakiart Sathirathai would be the now-unnamed Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister who might possibly otherwise turn out to be the first choice among the trio.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, right, and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, left. Photo: INN News
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Top photo: VOA, Front Page photo: BBC
Also read: Sam Mit group not leaving Palang Pracharath