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Bhumjaithai to join Pheu Thai-led coalition partners and vote Srettha for PM


By Thai Newsroom Reporters

THE BHUMJAITHAI under de facto party boss Newin Chidchob is becoming a ninth coalition partner headed by the Pheu Thai to vote Srettha Thavisin for prime minister on the upcoming Friday.

All 71 Bhumjaithai MPs will join the 310-MPs-strong Pheu Thai-led coalition in Friday’s joint House/Senate meeting to cast yea votes for Srettha, one of a trio of the Pheu Thai candidates for head of government following the May 14 election, partisan sources said today (July 31).

Srettha, known as personally associated with deposed prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of de facto Pheu Thai boss/deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, is speculated to get a minimum of 375 yea votes from the MPs and senators, accounting for more than half the combined total of the lawmakers to take the helm of government with the Pheu Thai as its core.

That the Bhumjaithai is being brought into the Pheu Thai-led coalition followed events in which Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat had failed to make it in the first round of vote in a joint House/Senate session and then been contentiously denied a second chance to be named prime minister earlier this month.

The real estate tycoon-turned-top contestant for prime minister will almost certainly be given more than adequate votes from the 71 Bhumjaithai MPs in addition to those of the current eight coalition partners, including 150 Move Forward MPs, 141 Pheu Thai MPs, eight Prachachart MPs, six Thai Sang Thai MPs and five others from splinter parties, according to the partisan sources.

Pita is currently suspended by court from performing as MP whilst House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha of the Prachachart will practically continue to abstain from voting, given his assuming the top post of the legislative branch.

Altogether a majority of 381 MPs will likely pick Srettha for prime minister in the third round of vote on the upcoming Friday, they said.

Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul has earlier commented that his party has already resolved to not only refuse to endorse Pita for prime minister but to reject an informal offer for his camp to join the Pheu Thai-led coalition unless the Move Forward as a whole is dumped out of it.

The speculated overwhelming votes from the Pheu Thai-led coalition partners plus Newin’s camp in support of the Pheu Thai candidate will automatically turn off the contentious power of all 249 senators. The unelected lawmakers, most of whom are vigorously antagonistic toward the Move Forward, had been handpicked by Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan and de facto Ruam Thai Sang Chart boss/caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Both had contested the nationwide election in vain for prime minister.

The latest move of the Pheu Thai-led coalition apparently dampened speculation that a couple of “uncle’s camps”, namely the Palang Pracharath and Ruam Thai Sang Chart, might possibly be brought into it. By nickname, Prawit is called Uncle Pom and Prayut is called Uncle Tu.

The Move Forward rank and file have unwaveringly persisted that their progressive party remain as part of a Pheu Thai-led coalition government without either “uncle’s camp” in it and invariably cited an estimated 25 million voters’ consensus manifested in the May 14 election as so indicating.


Top: Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister Srettha Thavisin, right, and Move Forward logo, left, over a background of parliament meeting chamber. Photo: Matichon

Insert: De facto Bhumjaithai Party boss Newin Chidchob. Photo: Buriramunited.com

Front Page: Srettha Thavisin. Photo: Thai Rath

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