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Most senators await ‘uncles’ advice’ over PM vote


By Thai Newsroom Reporters

MOST SENATORS ARE impatiently awaiting some “advice” from a couple of powerful “uncles” as to whether they should vote Pheu Thai candidate Srettha Thavisin for prime minister or not, partisan sources said over the weekend.

Whilst most of the senior lawmakers are more or less anticipating some sort of power play on the part of both “uncles” to give them some “advice”, albeit in tacit fashion, a relatively few others may already have been prepared to either cast yea votes for or nay votes against the real estate mogul-turned-prime-ministerial candidate in next Tuesday’s joint House/Senate meeting to pick head of a post-election government.

The sought-after “advice” may be given through senatorial whips who will almost certainly take turns for floor debate prior to the time-consuming vote on a roll call for head of a post-election government. Given speeches to be delivered by those whips either in support or censure of the Pheu Thai-nominated candidate, their colleagues will effortlessly know if they will cast a yea or nay vote.

All 249 senators had been handpicked by de facto Ruam Thai Sang Chart boss/caretaker prime minister Prayut “Uncle Tu” Chan-o-cha and Palang Pracharath leader Prawit “Uncle Pom” Wongsuwan, following the 2014 coup which the former had orchestrated as army chief.

Despite the fact that both pro-military parties have jumped onto the bandwagon of a coalition spearheaded by the Pheu Thai under de facto party boss/deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a decisive number of the senators could possibly decline to endorse Srettha, known as personally associated with deposed prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the sources said.

Under the military-designed constitution, Srettha will need a minimum of 375 yea votes, accounting for more than half the combined total of 498 MPs and 249 senators who are currently performing as lawmakers.

Given a combined force of 314 MPs of the Pheu Thai-led coalition partners supposedly set to give the prime-ministerial candidate yea votes on the upcoming Tuesday, he will certainly need at least 61 more from the senators.

Whether or not there will be adequate support for his attempted rise to power from among the senators could probably depend on whether “Uncle Pom” himself may ever opt out of manipulating to take the helm of government in lieu of the Pheu Thai contestant, they said.

If Srettha eventually fails to get enough yea votes for prime minister on the approaching Tuesday, “Uncle Pom” could possibly be so named in another joint House/Senate session to be scheduled by House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha.

Encouraging politicians and people to “learn to step beyond conflict”, “Uncle Pom” has obviously manifested his long-coveted design to rise to an elected premiership after he has apparently played the roles of a “kingmaker” and repeatedly assumed the posts of a deputy prime minister and defence minister over the last decades.

“Uncle Pom” was among those who contested the May 14 election as partisan candidates for prime minister.

In case that the naming of the Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister may have fizzled out, that of Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul will be completely out of the question as long as Newin Chidchob, the de facto boss of the third largest elected party, is concerned, the sources said.

Though the Palang Pracharath has become the fourth largest party, possible chances of Prawit being named partisan candidate for prime minister could probably be far larger than Anutin, who would be more than willing to give way for “Uncle Pom”, they said.


Top: Pheu Thai prime-ministerial candidate Srettha Thavisin, right, and Palang Pracharath boss Prawit Wongsuwan, left.

Front Page: Srettha Thavisin, right, and Ruam Thai Sang Chart boss/caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, left. Both photos: Matichon

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