By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE PHEU THAI HAS DESPERATELY called on the Move Forward to vote for the camp’s candidate for prime minister Srettha Thavisin amidst the likelihood of inadequate support from senators, partisan sources said today (Aug.9).
Despite the fact that the Move Forward has been already dumped by the Pheu Thai out of their coalition, the former is being ironically requested by the latter for help by casting yea votes for Srettha, known as personally associated with deposed prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, to take the helm of government in a joint House/Senate meeting tentatively scheduled for Aug.17, the partisan sources said.
Nevertheless, many pro-Move Forward voters who went to the polls in the May 14 election responded online by expressing dissent to the possibility of the Move Forward MPs casting yea votes for the Pheu Thai prime ministerial candidate.
Pheu Thai wheeler-dealer Bhumtham Wechayachai said today he is seeking an informal meeting with the Move Forward leadership to bury the hatchet between the two camps and solicit support from the Move Forward MPs for the naming of Srettha as the country’s 30th prime minister.
Bhumtham, known as a right-hand man for de facto Pheu Thai boss/deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, said the Pheu Thai-led coalition has resolved to melt the country’s political polarisation and virtually dismantle barriers against the MPs of the “uncles’ camps”, referring 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.
Accompanying Thaksin’s right-hand man in effort to ask the Move Forward to endorse Srettha for prime minister were the de facto Pheu Thai boss’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra, Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew and Pheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Chanthararuangthong.
Whilst the Pheu Thai-led coalition has reportedly mustered a combined force of 238 MPs at the moment with many more likely to follow suit sooner than later, the real estate mogul-turned-prime ministerial candidate will need a minimum of 375 yea votes accounting for more than half the combined total of MPs and senators.
How many senators are going to vote Srettha for prime minister will primarily depend on the whims of both “uncles” who had handpicked all of the unelected lawmakers themselves, according to the sources who only spoke on condition that they not be identified.
The number of yea votes from among the senators to land Srettha the elected premiership will undoubtedly hinge upon whether either the Palang Pracharath or the Ruam Thai Sang Chart or both might probably be approached to jump onto the bandwagon of the Pheu Thai-led coalition government, they said.
Only 13 out of a total of 249 senators had cast yea votes for Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat whilst others either did not attend last month’s joint House/Senate session to pick head of a post-election government or cast nay votes against him.
Meanwhile, seven splinter parties have reportedly agreed to join the Pheu Thai-led coalition, so far making a combined force of 238 MPs including the 141 Pheu Thai MPs and 71 Bhumjaithai MPs.
Those 26 MPs-strong splinter parties are the Chart Thai Pattana with 10 MPs, the Prachachart with nine MPs, the Pheu Thai Ruam Palang with two MPs, the Chart Pattana Kla with two MPs plus the Thai Liberal, the Palang Sungkhom Mai and the Thai Counties with one MP each.
Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew, left, and de facto leader Thaksin Shinawatra’s right-hand man Bhumtham Wechayachai, right. Top photo: Matichon, Front Page photo: Thai Rath