By Thai Newsroom Reporters
ALL 40 PALANG PRACHARATH MPs including party leader Prawit “Uncle Pom” Wongsuwan will almost certainly vote Pheu Thai candidate Srettha Thavisin for prime minister, no matter if the military-installed party will be brought into coalition government.
Palang Pracharath MP Pai Lik confirmed today (Aug.10) all the 40 Palang Pracharath MPs including Prawit will almost certainly lend solid support for the real estate mogul-turned-prime ministerial candidate regardless of whether Uncle Pom’s camp will be brought into the Pheu Thai-led coalition government.
That the Palang Pracharath MPs will endorse Srettha for head of a post-election government would not be a big surprise since many of the MPs of Uncle Pom’s camp such as Palang Pracharath secretary-general Thammanat Prompao used to belong to the Pheu Thai under de facto party boss Thaksin Shinawatra, said Pai who is also an ex-Pheu Thai MP.
Whether the Pheu Thai might probably bring the Palang Pracharath onto the bandwagon is yet to be considered at a later date after the naming of the Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister in a joint House/Senate meeting, tentatively scheduled for Aug.17, according to the Palang Pracharath MP.
Meanwhile, Sam Mit Group leader Somsak Thesuthin today admitted that he has quietly lobbied some prominent Ruam Thai Sang Chart MPs urging them to lend yea votes for the real estate mogul-turned-prime ministerial candidate for fear there might not be many yea votes from the senators.
Somsak declined to comment whether Prayut’s camp as a whole could probably join the Pheu Thai-led coalition government in foreseeable future only if many of the total 36 Ruam Thai Sang Chart MPs eventually vote Srettha for prime minister.
In the meantime, Move Forward MPs will likely not vote Srettha for prime minister since the party has been contentiously inviting the other side of the polarised spectrum into coalition, according to Move Forward MP Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn.
Pheu Thai wheeler-dealer Bhumtham Wechayachai, Thaksin’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra, Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew and Pheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Chanthararuangthong desperately asked Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat and other prominent Move Forward figures to help with the voting of Srettha, known as personally associated with deposed prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, for prime minister.
Bhumtham, known as a right-hand man for Thaksin, has earlier commented that Srettha would need no yea votes from the Move Forward MPs at all since solid support for his attempted rise to power would be adequately provided by the MPs of the Pheu Thai-led coalition out of which the Move Forward has been dumped, plus yea votes from many senators.
But Wiroj contended that the Move Forward rank and file are apparently inclined at the moment to not vote for Srettha since Thaksin’s camp may have arguably planned to bring the Palang Pracharath and Ruam Thai Sang Chart and Democrats into their coalition sooner or later.
The Pheu Thai-led coalition which currently has a combined force of 238 MPs on its side will almost certainly seek many more from among those camps to strengthen the coalition government whilst the Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister will need a minimum of 375 votes, accounting for more than half the combined total of MPs and senators.
The Move Forward MP suggested the Pheu Thai rank and file conduct an opinion poll with a number of constituents, especially pro-Thaksin Red Shirt members, who may have voted for their partisan contestants in the May 14 election as to whether their party should ever join hands with the “uncles’ camps” or the Democrats at all, largely viewed as being on the other side of the country’s polarised spectrum.
The “uncles’ camps” refer to the Palang Pracharath led by Prawit “Uncle Pom” and the Ruam Thai Sang Chart under de facto party boss/caretaker prime minister Prayut “Uncle Tu” Chan-o-cha.
Pita told reporters today the Move Forward MPs have not yet reached a partisan resolution as to whether to vote Srettha for prime minister and are still having enough time to think it over after the Pheu Thai has desperately asked them for help.
Pita said his party’s rank and file who have invariably resolved to do without the “uncles’ camps” in a previous bid to set up a coalition government have been collecting viewpoints of their pro-Move Forward voters in varied constituencies and others on social media to help them make up their mind next week.
Top and Front Page: Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan, left, and Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister Srettha Thavisin. Left photo: Naewna, right photo: Matichon Weekly and merged by Thai Newsroom
Insert: Palang Pracharath MP Pai Lik. Photo: Thai Rath