By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PHEU THAI LEADER Chonlanan Srikaew today (June 21) said he will immediately spurn possible offers for him to assume the House Speaker seat.
During today’s partisan workshop for all 141 Pheu Thai MPs at a Bangkok hotel, Chonlanan said he will unreluctantly reject offers of the House Speaker seat for which he might possibly be named during the first House meeting speculated early next month.
The Pheu Thai leader would ultimately prefer the public health portfolio of a cabinet much rather than the House Speaker seat, given his private profession as a doctor, a partisan source said.
Many Pheu Thai MPs looked dissatisfied with agreements quietly made between Pheu Thai and Move Forward negotiators over the top post of the legislative branch and took to task those of their own party for not consulting with the former party’s rank and file either before, during or after the informal talks with the latter.
Without naming names, the Pheu Thai MPs apparently referred to deputy Pheu Thai leader Bhumtham Wechayachai who had performed as a leading Pheu Thai negotiator.
Bhumtham who had superficially contested last month’s general election as the 100th candidate in party-listed mode is more or less expected to be given a cabinet seat in the Move Forward-led coalition government, given his practical role as a right-hand man of de facto Pheu Thai boss/deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The Move Forward/Pheu Thai negotiators have already agreed to the extent that the House Speaker post be given to the Move Forward in exchange for a couple of Deputy House Speaker seats to be both occupied by the Pheu Thai, according to Bhumtham.
Those dissident Pheu Thai MPs insisted in vain that the top post of the legislative branch belong to the second largest elected party since that of the executive branch has already been given to the largest one.
Some have desperately preferred the House Speaker seat be given to former deputy House speaker Suchart Tancharoen who has returned to Thaksin’s camp and contested last month’s nationwide election in party-listed mode after he had earlier joined the Palang Pracharath following the 2019 election.
Pheu Thai leader Chonlanand Srikaew, right, and the party’s secretary-general Prasert Chantararuangthong speaking to reporters today, June 21, 2023. Photos: Matichon
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