By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PALANG PRACHARATH LEADER Prawit Wongsuwan today (May 30) dismissed criticism that he had sent former police chief Chakthip Chaijinda negotiating a possible Pheu Thai-led coalition government in which his own party might probably be included during a Sunday soccer match in Leicester City, England.
Prawit categorically denied he had been involved in whatever the former police chief, known as personally close to him, may have said to any other Thais who went to King Power stadium to watch the Thai-owned Leicester soccer team playing their final game in the English Premier League.
Shortly before the season’s final match kicked off to see Leicester relegated from top flight despite a home victory, Chakthip met with Pheu Thai candidate Settha Taweesin and Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul at the stadium. Both had contested the May 14 election for prime minister.
Sunday’s informal meeting between Chakthip who practically represented the Palang Praacharath, Settha on behalf of the Pheu Thai under de facto party boss/deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and Anutin on behalf of the Bhumjaithai under de facto party boss Newin Chidchob at such an unlikely place as a soccer stadium apparently underlined the sustained effort to literally keep themselves in touch with one another and to turn the Pheu Thai into core of a new coalition in which the Palang Pracharath and Bhumjaithai will almost certainly be included, among others, according to partisan sources.
The alleged Pheu Thai-led coalition will certainly not consist of the Move Forward, given the latter’s resolute stand against military-installed camps, namely the Palang Pracharath and Ruam Thai Sang Chart.
That event took place amidst the sustained possibility that the Palang Pracharath and Bhumjaithai might be brought into a Pheu Thai-led coalition which would likely do without the Move Forward currently being core of an eight-partner coalition in case that Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat has eventually failed to get adequate votes of support for prime minister from among a total of 750 elected and unelected lawmakers.
Though the Move Forward-led coalition partners have a combined force of 312 MPs at their command, a small number out of a total of 250 senators are expected to cast yea votes for Pita’s elected premiership, the partisan sources said.
Pita is constitutionally obliged to secure yea votes from more than half the combined total of MPs and senators or at least 376 votes, thus needing 64 more votes from among non-coalition MPs and senators.
That compared to the Pheu Thai-led coalition with a united force of no less than 270 MPs plus overwhelming yea votes from the senators, all of whom had been handpicked by the Palang Pracharath leader and caretaker prime minister/de facto Ruam Thai Sang Chart boss Prayut Chan-o-cha following the 2014 coup.
That the Thaksin-backed Pheu Thai leadership quietly mapping out Plan B whilst currently being part of the Move Forward-led coalition would almost certainly be put to work only if Pita has not been given enough votes for prime minister in a joint House/Senate session tentatively scheduled for August, the partisan sources said.
The Move Forward rank and file have planned to clarify their progressive campaign policies to the senators many of whom may have found them utterly disputable or even disagreeable.
Top: Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul, left, former police chief Chakthip Chaijinda, second left, and Pheu Thai candidate Settha Taweesin, right, at King Power stadium in Leicester City on Sunday. Photo: Matichon
Front Page: Pheu Thai candidate Settha Taweesin, left, and Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul, opposite right, holding talks at King Power stadium in Leicester City on Sunday. Photo: Thai Rath