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Somsak, Suriya lobbying senators to back Srettha for PM


By Thai Newsroom Reporters

SAM MIT GROUP LEADERS Somsak Thepsuthin and Suriya Juangroongruangkit have been quietly lobbying senators in support of Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister Srettha Thavisin, partisan sources said today (July 28).

In addition to solid support from a dozen Palang Pracharath MPs who are practically under their control, Somsak and Suriya who contested the May 14 election in Pheu Thai party-listed mode have been quietly soliciting endorsement from many of the unelected lawmakers for the real estate tycoon-turned-prime-ministerial candidate, known as personally associated with deposed prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of de facto Pheu Thai boss/deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Compared to 13 senators who had earlier cast yea votes for Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat in the first round of vote for prime minister whilst others abstained from voting or cast downright nay votes against him, many more are speculated to endorse Srettha for head of government early next month due in part to the Sam Mit leaders’ hush-hush lobbying, the sources said.

Both Somsak and Suriya were believed to have persuaded many of the senators, all of whom had been handpicked by Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan and de facto Ruam Thai Sang Chart boss/caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, into casting yea votes for the Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister in the next joint House/Senate meeting tentatively scheduled for Aug.4.

Now that the Pheu Thai has become core of the eight coalition partners after the Move Forward had failed to muster enough support for Pita in the first round of vote for prime minister earlier this month, Somsak and Suriya will see to it that their ongoing lobbying of the senators conducted in hush-hush fashion will be more or less fruitful in support of the Pheu Thai contestant for head of a post-election government, the sources said.

Those senators will almost certainly not endorse Srettha for prime minister so he could eventually head a Pheu Thai-led coalition government sooner than later next month unless the Move Forward is dumped out of it, they said.

Srettha will need yea votes from more than half the combined total of MPs and senators or at least 375 votes to take the helm of government.

Whilst the Sam Mit leaders have been fishing for support for him from among the senators, the other leading Pheu Thai figures have been wooing the Bhumjaithai under de facto party boss Newin Chidchob, among other relatively small camps, into a Pheu Thai-led coalition which will likely do without the Move Forward.

The future Pheu Thai-led coalition which will be entirely different from the current Pheu Thai-led one is speculated to have some 270-plus MPs on their side consisting of 141 Pheu Thai MPs, 71 Bhumjaithai MPs, 40 Palang Pracharath MPs, 10 Chart Thai Pattana MPs and nine Prachachart MPs, among others.


Top and Front Page: Phue Thai candidate for prime minister Srettha Thavisin. Photos: Matichon Weekly

Insert: Sam Mit faction leaders Somsak Thepsuthin and Suriya Juangroongruangkit. Photo: Matichon

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