By Thai Newsroom Reporters
FORMER PREMIER THAKSIN Shinawatra yesterday (Feb. 1) said he did not believe a military coup will occur anytime soon but forecast a general election will likely take place no later than the middle of this year.
In Care Talk/Care Clubhouse live podcast programme, Thaksin advised Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to dissolve the House of Representatives sooner than later and return the power to the people since, the ex-premier commented, he no longer has the credibility to run the country.
Thaksin commented that Prayut would almost immediately shrug off the suggestion but he will not be able to persist through the lost confidence of the people which, the ex-premier said, a wide defeat of Palang Pracharath Party in Sunday’s by-election for MP in Chatuchak/Laksi constituency has obviously signified.
The latest political event in which the Prayut regime manifested a sharp decline in popularity should prompt the premier to finally opt out by dissolving the House no later than the middle of this year, according to Thaksin who spoke from Germany en route to Dubai where he has been staying in self-exile.
Palang Pracharath contestant Saranrat Jenjaka scored 7,000-plus votes, compared to Pheu Thai contender Surachart Tianthong who won 29,000-plus votes in the Bangkok mini-race to parliament.
Nevertheless, Thaksin did not predict whether or not Prayut will brave a censure debate speculated in upcoming May to be immediately followed by a vote of confidence. The premier is not legally allowed to dissolve the House after a no-confidence motion against him is formally lodged at parliament or during the time of its proceedings.
In the meantime, a censure debate without a subsequent no-confidence vote is already scheduled for Feb. 17 and Feb. 18 and will be followed by a two-month parliamentary recess before a regular session resumes in May.
Without elaborating, Thai Liberal Party leader Seripisut Temiyavej earlier remarked that the military top brass will no longer take orders from Prayut to stage a coup only to break a political impasse besieging the army chief-turned-premier and prolong his rule.
Pheu Thai Party leader Chonlanan Srikaew earlier commented that a coup, viewed by the powers-that-be as “the only solution” for Prayut might possibly occur, however.
Chulalongkorn University political scientist Siripan Nogsuan Sawasdee said some kind of an “unexpected phenomenon” might possibly arise to put an end to the Prayut regime if he persisted by refusing to dissolve the House or stepping down. The academic did not elaborate, however.
Siripan commented that the rupture between Prayut and former Palang Pracharath secretary-general Thammanat Prompow has remained “irreparable” and the ruling party, currently headed by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, will disintegrate further and will be no longer so powerful in the future as they may have been in the past.
Thammanat and 20 MPs under his command had managed to get themselves ousted from Prawit’s camp in order to join Thai Economic Party, headed by Wit Thephasadin na Ayudhya, a close associate of the Palang Pracharath boss.
Thammanat whom Prayut ousted as deputy agriculture & cooperatives minister following last year’s no-confidence motion posted on his Facebook page to congratulate the Pheu Thai candidate’s victory in the Bangkok by-election with an unexplained catchphrase that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Top photo: VOA News, Home Page photo: Thai Rath