By Thai Newsroom Reporters
NOTED ACADEMICS HAVE TAKEN to task caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and a couple of top Pheu Thai candidates over their failure to run for prime minister as well as for party-listed MP in concurrent fashion toward the May 14 general election.
Jade Donavanik, dean of the College of Asian Scholars’ Faculty of Law, remarked those prominent figures who have merely chosen to run for head of a post-election government are not only spurning the elected legislative branch but remaining insincere to the people in the first place, regardless of personal reasons which they may have conceivably cherished.
Prayut who rose to power by way of the 2014 coup which he had orchestrated as army chief and has been usually critical of MPs on either side of the House chamber’s aisle is more or less still trying to literally keep his distance from the elected lawmakers, thus prompting himself to be looking for nothing more than power to stay at the helm under the Ruam Thai Sang Chart tickets, said the College of Asian Scholars academic.
Pichai Rattanadilok na Phuket, political science lecturer attached to the National Institute of Development Administration, commented Prayut had decided against vying for Ruam Thai Sang Chart party-listed MP because he would ultimately fear being defeated as contender for prime minister and undoubtedly prefers to not stay around as MP on the opposition bloc.
Probably it might never dawn on the coup leader-turned-prime minister how an elected legislator could work to promote social values or public interests in the first place whilst he would rather enjoy giving out orders than taking them, according to the NIDA academic.
But both academics looked relatively bewildered at the event in which front-line Pheu Thai contenders, namely de facto party boss/deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra and real estate tycoon Settha Taweesin, have skipped the party list of 100 candidates vying for MP.
Jade commented the Pheu Thai popularity among swing voters nationwide could probably more or less dwindle due to such a surprise about-face of Thaksin’s party though that among the people staunchly loyal to the self-exiled premier and his camp would remain unchanged.
Claiming to be constantly standing on the “democracy” side of the country’s political spectrum, Paetongtarn and Settha who are reportedly running among a trio of partisan contestants for prime minister have apparently raised a bone of contention among their prospective voters since they are not concurrently vying in party-list mode, Jade said.
That Thaksin’s daughter and the real estate mogul are visiting the people, mingling with other Pheu Thai contestants on the party’s electoral campaign trail nationwide is merely a lame excuse which could not warrant their skipping the party-list mode, according to the College of Asian Scholars academic.
The NIDA academic said the failure of Paetongtarn and Settha to run for party-listed MP in concurrent fashion with premiership is sternly self-contradictory to one of their own party’s ideological standpoints.
Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew had earlier pushed for amendment to the coup junta-designed constitution to the extent that head of a post-election government concurrently be an MP unlike Prayut who had been named prime minister without contesting the 2019 general election.
Nevertheless, given the latest Pheu Thai ideological platform which has contradictorily changed, their prospective voters might probably think twice over the May 14 race to parliament, the academics concluded.
Above and Front Page: Caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra.
Insert: Caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and real estate mogul Settha Taweesin. All photos: Matichon