By Thai Newsroom Reporters
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER/Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan today (Mar.15) vowed to take care of the MPs of all pro-government splinter parties without soliciting any help from Thai Economic MP Thammanat Prompao.
Prawit reassured that all the splinter parties, most of which only have one MP, will be taken care of by himself and downplayed the influence which Thammanat may have exerted upon them.
Prawit was apparently responding to criticism that the pro-government MPs of the splinter parties had been left unattended by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who had recently hosted a dinner for the leaders of major coalition partners but had not invited them to join, prompting Thammanat to host a luncheon for them a few days later.
The Thammanat-hosted luncheon was seen as a sustained effort to keep the splinter parties’ MPs consolidated as an “independent” group of lawmakers who may or may not lend further support for Prayut during a censure/no-confidence motion speculated in an upcoming May or June.
The Palang Pracharath leader confirmed a dinner party for the leaders of those splinter parties will be held as planned on Thursday but declined to tell whether Prayut will come along.
Nevertheless, Thammanat, a former secretary-general of Prawit’s camp, and other Thai Economic MPs have not been invited to the dinner party, according to the deputy premier.
Meanwhile, Prayut suggested the splinter parties’ MPs have “a big heart” and not be easily moved by such political tugs of war and dared those who might continually pressure him into dissolving the House of Representatives or stepping down.
Following the Thammanat-hosted luncheon for the splinter parties’ MPs, Prayut reportedly came up with the idea to throw the dinner party for them as well and strive to keep them on his side and away from the “rebellious” Thammanat.
According to Thammanat, the embattled premier’s survival over the no-confidence motion might probably hinge on the “independent” group of lawmakers, consisting of a dozen MPs of the splinter parties plus his own clique of 18 Thai Economic MPs.
Thammanat and 20 other Palang Pracharath MPs were ousted from Prawit’s camp supposedly due to internal partisan conflict after he had been reshuffled out of the Prayut cabinet following last September’s censure/no-confidence vote against the premier. Thammanat managed to have 17 of those MPs enroll with Thai Economic Party while three others chose to join Bhumjaithai Party.
In another development, Prawit reconfirmed his advice that Prayut may dissolve the House and call a general election after he has finished with the planned hosting of APEC meetings scheduled for November in Thailand.
Prawit has been invariably viewed as kingmaker who had quietly pushed for the naming of Prayut as head of the Palang Pracharath-led coalition government following the 2019 election in which the latter had not contested.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha hugging Deputy Prime Minister/Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan. Photo: Matichon
Home Page: Top: Thai Economic MP Thammanat Prompao. Photo: Matichon Weekly