By Thai Newsroom Reporters
TWO THAI ECONOMIC MPs today (July 12) resigned as government whips, following Sunday’s defeat of their party in a by-election for MP of Lampang.
MP Pai Lick and MP Boonsing Warintharak, who concurrently perform as secretary-general and registrar of Thai Economic Party respectively, tendered their letter of resignation as government whips with immediate effect, confirmed deputy Thai Economic leader Wichit Plangsrisakul.
Both Thai Economic MPs who had acted as government whips for nearly three years finally called it quits as whips, given the party’s sustained support for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his Palang Pracharath-led coalition government against the will of those who went to the poll in Constituency 4 covering five districts of Lampang, Wichit said.
Sunday’s “surprise” event in which former Thai Economic MP Wattana Sitthivang was largely defeated by Dejthavee Srivichai, the winning candidate vying under the tickets of the opposition Thai Liberal Party in the northern by-election, prompted Thai Economic party leader Thammanat Prompao to adopt a clear-cut stand by discontinuing the party’s support for the Prayut government and thus having Pai and Boonsing give up on their government whipping roles, according to the deputy party leader.
Thai Economic Party which currently has 16 MPs including Thammanat has been earlier viewed as a pro-government party without being part of the current coalition. Thammanat and his men have been criticised by opposition lawmakers for virtually straddling between either side of the parliament chamber’s aisle.
Earlier this year, Thammanat led an exodus of 21 MPs including himself from largest coalition partner Palang Pracharath Party due to uncompromisable partisan conflict. Of that total of the “renegade” MPs, 16 have joined Thai Economic Party whilst the others have defected to Bhumjaithai Party.
Last September, Thammanat was deposed by Prayut as deputy agriculture & cooperatives minister after he had been accused of having quietly orchestrated a plot for certain coalition MPs to abstain from voting in support of the unelected premier during a censure/no-confidence motion.
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen how Thammanat’s camp will cast their votes regarding Prayut and 10 other cabinet members during the censure/no-confidence motion scheduled between July 19 and July 23.
Thammanat earlier commented that the Thai Economic MPs will certainly vote in support of Deputy Prime Minister/Palang Pracharath party leader Prawit Wongsuwan and that whether they will vote for or against or abstain from voting when it comes to Prayut and all other targeted ministers will primarily depend on facts and figures which might be used in allegations launched on floor debate by the opposition bloc against them.
Pai Lick, left, and Boonsing Warintharak, right, in top photo and on Front Page Boonsing Warintharak,left, and Pai Lick, right. Credit: Matichon