By Thai Newsroom Reporters
SRETTHA THAVISIN was today (Oct.28) lambasted for literally bowing to newly-named Pheu Thai leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra in what was seen as an undue act of subservience of a prime minister.
Moments after Paetongtarn, daughter of de facto Pheu Thai boss/”sickly” inmate Thaksin Shinawatra, had been named leader of the core coalition party during yesterday’s extraordinary caucus, Srettha mingled amongst Pheu Thai cabinet members standing in a row and waiting for his turn to literally lower his head and kiss the back of her right hand.
The scene circulated online featuring the prime minister literally bowing to the newly-named Pheu Thai leader has quickly drawn criticism from many viewers including Pichai Rattanadilok na Phuket, head of NIDA’s Politics & Strategic Development Project.
Calling Srettha a “very pathetic” prime minister, Pichai took him to task for unnecessarily lowering his dignity as head of government and bluntly suggested that he call it quits to hold himself accountable for his excessively subservient manners.
The unrivalled naming of Paetongtarn as Pheu Thai leader was no surprise not only to the party’s rank and file but many others since her father is invariably viewed as de facto party boss-cum-inmate who has managed to keep himself out of jail, given a private ward at Police Hospital to stay due to “illnesses” the symptoms and details of which have remained a mystery to the public.
Thaksin had been earlier sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison on a few counts of convicted misconduct during his previous premiership. Given royal pardon, his jail sentence was curtailed to only one year with the probability of his being released on parole by early next year.
Nevertheless, the de facto Pheu Thai boss/”sickly” inmate had stayed at a nursing unit in the premises of the prison for barely half a day before he was rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night of August 22, the date on which Srettha was named prime minister by lawmakers at parliament.
Srettha, largely known as personally associated with Thaksin’s sister/deposed prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, was among a trio of Pheu Thai partisan contenders for prime minister in last May’s election alongside former justice minister Chaikasem Nitisiri and the de facto party boss’s daughter.
Armed with a cell phone constantly available in his private ward at the hospital, Thaksin allegedly took his part in power play over the setup of a Pheu Thai-led coalition government and allocation of cabinet portfolios among coalition partners, giving out orders to Pheu Thai wheeler-dealer Bhumtham Wechayachai.
Top: Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin seated next to new Pheu Thai leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra at yesterday’s (Oct. 27) caucus.
Front Page: The Pheu Thai team at yesterday’s caucus. Both photos: Thai Rath
Also read: Paetongtarn named Pheu Thai leader