By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE PALANG PRACHARATH Party will not contest against the Thai Economic Party for any constituencies in the next general election, especially those in the northern region, said caretaker Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan today (Sept. 12).
Prawit who concurrently heads the largest coalition Palang Pracharath Party made his comments during an official visit to Tak where the Thai Economic Party led by former Palang Pracharath party secretary-general Thammanat Prompao has reportedly planned to send constituency-based candidates vying in the next election for MPs.
Thammanat, himself an MP of Payao, and the other Thai Economic MPs have reportedly secured popular support in many northern and upper-central constituencies, among others.
Nevertheless, Prawit stopped short of confirming whether he may practically welcome a possible return of Thammanat and Thai Economic MPs under his command to the Palang Pracharath Party where they had earlier belonged.
Earlier this year, Thammanat led an exodus of 21 Palang Pracharath MPs including himself out of Prawit’s camp following last year’s ouster of him from the cabinet by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is currently suspended by court from performing as head of government.
Of those renegade legislators, 16 have joined Thai Economic Party whilst five others have left for Bhumjaithai Party, the second-largest coalition partner.
Thammanat had reportedly developed a critical conflict with the party’s pro-Prayut cabinet members, namely Suchart Chomklin, Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn and Santi Prompat who has subsequently taken his place at Prawit’s camp, prompting the departure of those MPs and himself for the brand-new party.
Prayut apparently held Thammanat accountable for a hush-hush plot to have certain coalition and splinter-party MPs abstain from casting a post-censure yea vote for the army chief-turned-premier in alleged effort to press him to dissolve the House of Representatives and call a general election or step down.
Prayut barely survived the no-confidence motion and ousted Thammanat and Naruemon Pinyosinwat as deputy agriculture & cooperatives minister and deputy labour minister respectively a few days later.
Top: Caretaker Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, right, and Thai Economic Party leader Thammanat Prompao. Photo: Matichon
Front Page: Caretaker Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan. Photo: INN News