By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PHEU THAI LEADER CHONLANAN Srikaew today (June 27) expressed concern over the probability of a partisan rival who might be named prime minister in sheer competition with Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat.
Chonlanan apparently referred to either Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan or de facto Ruam Thai Sang Chart boss Prayut Chan-o-cha who might probably be named prime minister in addition to the Move Forward leader for whom yea votes from more than half the combined total of MPs and senators or at least 376 votes will be needed.
The Pheu Thai leader pointed out a combined force of 188 non-coalition MPs and 250 senators could potentially outvote the 312 others attached to the eight coalition partners and endorse either Prawit or Prayut for prime minister.
Most of the unelected senators are more or less expected to vote either for Prawit as the leader of the fourth largest elected party with 40 MPs or for Prayut as the de facto boss of the fifth largest party with 36 MPs in lieu of Pita as the leader of the largest elected party with 151 MPs.
In such a scenario, the Bhumjaithai as the third largest elected party under de facto party boss Newin Chidchob and with a command of 71 MPs would almost certainly be brought among others into a minority government, given a pivotal assistance from 250 senators, albeit taking command of only 188 MPs whilst pushing the 312 others into the opposition bloc.
Such a minority government could possibly become a majority one at a later date as had been the case in the past, given “bananas” to be handed out to “cobras.”
Nonetheless, Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul has ultimately ruled out the possibility of a minority government being hatched up at any time, saying only a “buffalo” would offer to give away as much as 100 million baht in payoff cash to each of the “cobras” to endorse it.
In Thai political jargon, “bananas” mean huge kickback cash whilst “cobras” refer to bribe-taking, party-switching MPs and “buffalo” refers to a very stupid person.
Meanwhile, Chonlanan categorically dismissed hearsay that Prawit has recently met with de facto Pheu Thai boss Thaksin Shinawatra for an informal talk over the setting up of a post-election government somewhere in England where the Palang Pracharath leader said to have merely gone for own medical reasons.
Chonlanan repeatedly denied a secret deal may have been made, albeit in hush-hush fashion, between the de facto Pheu Thai boss and the Palang Pracharath leader who had run in vain for prime minister in the May 14 nationwide election.
The globetrotting Thaksin has been earlier alleged to have looked for ways and means to turn around the situation to the extent that his camp with a command of 141 MPs become core of a coalition government in lieu of Pita’s progressive party so that his daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra or real estate tycoon Settha Taweesin who both had contested as partisan candidates for prime minister could finally take the helm of government.
The Palang Pracharath leader has been earlier alleged to have only craved the elected premiership for a year or two and then offered to be succeeded by either one of the Pheu Thai contestants for prime minister.
Top and Front Page: Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat together with 150 other party MPs arriving at Parliament to register today, June 17, 2023.
Insert: Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew, second from left, addressing a party meeting today. All photos: Thai Rath