THE head of Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party, which is de facto led by caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, said today (Aug. 11) his camp is concerned about Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister Srettha Thavisin’s stance on amending the lese majeste law, better known as Section 112 of the Criminal Code, in considering voting for him to take the helm of government, Thai Rath newspaper said.
Mr. Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, leader of this ultra-conservative party, also mentioned that his camp had not yet been approached by Phue Thai to join a coalition government it is forging.
As for Pheu Thai party-list MP Somsak Thepsuthin having indicated that the door is not closed to Ruam Thai Sang Chart joining in, he pointed out that this depends on Pheu Thai which is taking the lead in setting up the coalition government and not his party.
Should Pheu Thai ask Ruam Thai Sang Chart to support Srettha for prime minister an internal discussion would have to take place first whether to do so or not.
It would also have to be seen which other parties are invited to join in and whether their policies are acceptable to his camp, he added.
Upon being asked as it is now clear Pheu Thai is naming Srettha for prime minister whether Ruam Thai Sang Chart would vote for him or not, Pirapan replied that his camp would have to ask for clarification about amending Section 112 as he alleged Srettha had said in an interview that he would amend it.
He added that Paetongtarn Shinawatra, daughter of de facto Pheu Thai boss Thaksin Shinawatra and one of this party’s trio contestants for prime minister, had also said in an interview that her party will be implementing a previous coalition partner’s policies, meaning Move Forward Party.
Questioned whether his party would still support Srettha should Move Forward decide to vote for him without joining the government, Pirapan said that is Move Forward’s business but everything depends on party resolution with there being no divisions.
Ruam Thai Sang Chart leader Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, left, with this party’s de facto boss/caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Matichon