Local news

Hearsay over Paetongtarn taking over Pheu Thai dampened


By Thai Newsroom Reporters

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER-CUM-Commerce Minister Bhumtham Wechayachai today (Sep.8) dampened speculation that de facto Pheu Thai boss Thaksin Shinawatra’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra will eventually take over the leadership of the core coalition partner.

Paetongtarn who had run among a trio of Pheu Thai candidates for head of a post-election government apart from real estate tycoon-turned-prime minister Srettha Thavisin and Pheu Thai MP Chaikasem Nitisiri has been more or less expected to become party leader as far as her father is concerned.

Bhumtham was responding to hearsay that the daughter of the former prime minister, who has reportedly had “illnesses” upon return from 17 years in self-exile abroad and been staying under close medical care at Police Hospital since late last month, will assume the top Pheu Thai leadership in place of Public Health Minister Chonlanan Srikaew who had earlier resigned as leader of the party, albeit viewed as merely nominal status.

The deputy prime minister-cum-commerce minister is viewed as one of Thaksin’s right-hand men who had negotiated the setup of the Pheu Thai-led coalition government and allegedly carried out instructions pertaining to the allocation of cabinet portfolios among coalition partners from the de facto party boss who has taken part in power play literally from his hospital bed via a cellphone.

Thaksin’s other right-hand man is Prommin Lertsuridej who has been named secretary-general to the prime minister.

Without naming names, Bhumtham said the Pheu Thai currently has several competent and suitable persons who could probably become a new leader of the party who will be named alongside other members of the party’s new executive board either late this month or early next month.


Top: De facto Pheu Thai boss Thaksin Shinawatra and his daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra. Photo: Thai Rath

Insert: Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Commerce Minister Bhumtham Wechayachai. Photo: Thai Rath

Front Page: Paetongtarn Shinawatra campaigning before the May 14 election. Photo: Matichon Weekly

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