By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE BHUMJAITHAI under de facto party boss Newin Chidchob today (Aug.7) officially declared solid support for a coalition government and a prime-ministerial candidate under care of the Pheu Thai where deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is viewed as de facto party boss.
Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul and Bhumjaithai secretary-general Saksayam Chidchob visited the Pheu Thai headquarters, met with their Pheu Thai counterparts Chonlanan Srikaew and Prasert Chanthararuangthong respectively and signed a joint statement between the two parties underlining sustained efforts to set up the Pheu Thai-led coalition government.
Accompanying those prominent figures in today’s press conference was Thaksin’s right-hand man Bhumtham Wechayachai, who ranked 100th among the Pheu Thai party-listed candidates running in the May 14 election but ironically given the likelihood of assuming a ministerial seat in the Pheu Thai government.
Newin’s camp has invariably set a precondition in joining the Pheu Thai-led coalition to the extent that the Move Forward be eventually dumped out of it, prompting Thaksin’s camp to have taken steps accordingly.
The Pheu Thai which is currently having a combined force of 212 MPs on its side will likely be joined by others to strengthen their coalition government and lend support for Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister Srettha Thavisin, known as personally associated with deposed prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, in a joint House/Senate meeting tentatively scheduled for Aug.17.
The real estate mogul-turned-prime ministerial candidate will need a minimum of 375 votes to become head of government, accounting for more than half the combined total of MPs and senators.
Following the departure from an original eight-partners coalition, the Pheu Thai has been earlier speculated to have an estimated 262-plus MPs on their side with many more likely to jump onto the bandwagon sooner than later.
More or less speculated to join the Pheu Thai-led coalition sooner than later are the Chart Thai Pattana with 10 MPs, the Prachachart with nine MPs, the Democrats with 20-plus MPs and several splinter parties with only one or two MPs each, in addition to Newin’s camp with 71 MPs and Thaksin’s camp with 141 MPs.
Without naming names, Chonlanan said certain other parties will very shortly follow suit and officially declare their solid support for both the Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister and the Pheu Thai-led coalition government.
In addition, some MPs attached to the “uncles’ camps” as well as some senators might probably lend yea votes for Srettha for prime minister though their respective parties may not as yet jump onto the Pheu Thai bandwagon, Chonlanan said.
The “renegade” unnamed MPs refer to some of those who currently belong to the Palang Pracharath led by Prawit “Uncle Pom” Wongsuwan and the Ruam Thai Sang Chart under de facto party boss/caretaker prime minister Prayut “Uncle Tu” Chan-o-cha who had led a junta staging the 2014 coup and collaborated with “Uncle Pom” to handpick all 249 senators.
Top: Pheu Thai and Bhumjaithai teams at today’s press conference. Photo: Matichon
Insert and Front Page: Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew, right, and Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul, left, at the press briefing. Photos: Sanook.com