By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A PROMINENT ACADEMIC said today (Sep.4) he wondered if Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin could practically be independent of de facto Pheu Thai boss Thaksin Shinawatra.
Thammasat University law lecturer Prinya Thaewanarumitkul commented that nobody could be completely positive that Srettha could be practically free of Thaksin’s alleged influence which has allegedly prevailed over all members of the Pheu Thai rank and file.
Thaksin’s sister/deposed prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra had allegedly pushed for the naming of the real estate tycoon as a Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister who was given a decisive yea vote from senators last month.
Nevertheless, the de facto Pheu Thai boss who had allegedly taken part in power play allocating cabinet portfolios among coalition partners literally from his hospital bed might probably try to keep the newly-named prime minister under control, according to the Thammasat law lecturer.
Literally remotely steering his right-hand man/wheeler-dealer Bhumtham Wechayachai, the de facto Pheu Thai boss had allegedly reached a surprise compromise with de facto Ruam Thai Sang Chart boss/former prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who ousted his sister in the 2014 coup.
Prayut himself was legally obliged to enforce a royal decree recently issued for royal pardon granted to Thaksin with immediate effect to the extent that his earlier-sentenced, eight-year jail term under a few separate cases of convicted misconduct be curtailed to only one year.
Prinya pointed out that Srettha’s executive powers could probably be challenged not only by MPs in the opposition bloc but on the coalition side, specifically those attached to coalition partners including the Pheu Thai after all current senators have completed their five-year term next May.
Srettha had not only been given overwhelming endorsement from coalition MPs but most of the senators, all of whom had been handpicked by Palang Pracharath leader Prawit “Uncle Pom” Wongsuwan and the de facto Ruam Thai Sang Chart boss, aka “Uncle Tu”, the academic noted.
With support from the current senators no longer available, Srettha’s premiership could probably become precarious and unstable, given pressure from inside and outside of the Pheu Thai camp under the influence of Thaksin who might probably be released on parole around the end of this year.
The Pheu Thai had allegedly bowed to pressure from the coalition partners namely the Bhumjaithai, Palang Pracharath and Ruam Thai Sang Chart to concede them key cabinet portfolios such as the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Energy respectively, Prinya said.
It remains to be seen whether the Pheu Thai policies purportedly designed for the interests of the people nationwide could be effectively implemented as promised during their electoral campaigns since those key portfolios were already given away to the coalition partners, Prinya said.
Nevertheless, the academic said, the prime minister had apparently opted to take charge of the Ministry of Finance in concurrent fashion because he may have designed to use the budgeting portfolio as a hands-on, bargaining power over the demanding coalition partners.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisn, right, and Pheu Thai de facto boss Thaksin Shinawatra. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Matichon