By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE RETURN OF SAM MIT faction leaders from the Palang Pracharath to the Pheu Thai was primarily designed to offer themselves as a go-between and turn both parties into coalition partners after an upcoming general election, a partisan source said today (Mar.16).
The Sam Mit faction leaders, namely Somsak Thepsuthin and Suriya Juangroongruangkit, who had quietly looked to remain part of a post-election government finally decided to skip over from the Palang Pracharath to the Pheu Thai where they could probably play sort of the role of liaison between the two camps, said the partisan source who only spoke on condition of anonymity.
Somsak and Suriya who both have a dozen MPs as their proteges had belonged to the Pheu Thai until they left for the Palang Pracharath in the 2019 general election.
In today’s event Somsak and Suriya visited Palang Pracharath boss Prawit Wongsuwan to formally bid goodbye at his residence in the premises of the First Army Regiment on Vibhavadi Rangsit road. Somsak and Suriya will resign very shortly as justice minister and industry minister respectively as they are joining the largest opposition party.
Palang Pracharath secretary-general Santi Prompat who joined in the goodbye event at Prawit’s army home alongside his predecessor Thammanat Prompao, known as personally close to the Palang Pracharath boss, admitted that he had learned of Somsak’s and Suriya’s planned defection for quite some time and confirmed that will not adversely affect the ruling party’s electoral campaign.
The Sam Mit faction leaders have offered to see to it that the Pheu Thai and the Palang Pracharath will discreetly keep in touch with each other as soon as the nationwide election has been held in May, though it remains quite uncertain for the time being who will become head of a post-election government, the partisan source said.
Whilst the Pheu Thai, known to be staunchly loyal to de facto party boss/former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, has reportedly planned to name a trio of partisan contenders for prime minister, Prawit has already been proclaimed as the sole Palang Pracharath contestant for the top post of government.
The possibility of the Pheu Thai and Palang Pracharath joining hands to set up a coalition government being categorically ruled out notwithstanding, both parties might finally compromise their campaign stands, bury the hatchet and do what they have so far dismissed after the general election.
Thaksin’s camp would only raise a decisive condition for possible alliance with Prawit’s camp – no place for the Ruam Thai Sang Chart in a future coalition government, according to the partisan source.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has been critical of his predecessor who was deposed in the 2006 coup and dared him to return home to serve 12 years in jail for court-convicted misconducts.
Prayut, who named himself head of a military-installed government after he had deposed an elected government of Thaksin’s sister/ former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra in the 2014 coup, is contesting the upcoming general election to retain power under the ultra-conservative party’s tickets.
Top and Front Page: Sam Mit faction leaders Somsak Thepsuthin and Suriya Juangroongruangkit. Photos: Matichon