By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PHEU THAI CANDIDATE FOR prime minister Srettha Thavisin will not be replaced with anyone else as pressed by the Bhumjaithai, according to Pheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Chanthararuangthong.
Prasert confirmed only the real estate mogul-turned-prime ministerial candidate will be named and voted in a joint House/Senate meeting later this month and that he will certainly not be replaced with Paetongtarn Shinawatra, one of a trio of Pheu Thai candidates for prime minister.
The Bhumjaithai has insisted that Paetongtarn, daughter of de facto Pheu Thai boss/deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, replace Srettha, known as personally associated with deposed prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, given the real estate tycoon’s verbal precondition that nobody in a Pheu Thai-led cabinet assume the same ministerial portfolio of which they may be currently taking charge, albeit in a caretaker’s capacity.
That has apparently dissatisfied the Bhumjaithai under de facto party boss Newin Chidchob, prompting the second largest coalition partner to call for change of the Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister.
Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul and Bhumjaithai secretary-general Saksayam Chidchob raised the changing-of- the-candidate demand whilst negotiating with Pheu Thai wheeler-dealer Bhumtham Wechayachai, known as Thaksin’s right-hand man with apparent desire to keep their current portfolios to themselves.
Anutin and Saksayam are concurrently performing as public health minister and transport minister respectively.
Prasert concluded that all the coalition partners, especially the Bhumjaithai, are definitely bound to vote Srettha for prime minister before they may discuss with the Pheu Thai the allocation of ministerial portfolios at a later date, no matter if they may agree to the reported preconditions which he may have earlier laid out.
Srettha has earlier said during the run-up to the May 14 election that he would certainly not give away major economic portfolios such as the Ministry of Transport to any relatively small coalition partners and that the Pheu Thai as core of a coalition government would rather steer it.
The Pheu Thai candidate has been so far speculated to get no less than 278 yea votes from the MPs of various parties including the 40 Palang Prcharath MPs including party leader Prawit “Uncle Pom” Wongsuwan but not including those of the 36 Ruam Thai Sang Chart MPs under de facto party boss/caretaker prime minister Prayut “Uncle Tu” Chan-o-cha, plus a decisive number of senators, all of whom had been handpicked by both “uncles”.
Under the military-designed constitution, the prime-ministerial candidate currently needs to get a minimum of 374 yea votes accounting for more than half the combined total of 498 performing MPs and 249 performing senators.
Top: Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister Srettha Thavisin. Photo: Thai Rath
Front Page: Pheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Chanthararuangthong. Photo: Matichon