By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PALANG PRACHARATH Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan said today (Nov.28) he would rather not ask Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to stay with his ruling party since the premier might probably join the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party under which he may contest the next general election in bid to prolong his rule.
The Palang Pracharath boss who concurrently acts as deputy prime minister said he could not keep the premier with his own party unwillingly though he himself and Prayut have virtually always regarded each other as “brothers” for the last 40 to 50 years.
However, Prawit said he has never engaged in any kind of conflict with his “younger brother” who might probably jump onto the bandwagon of the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party in the nationwide election speculated early next year.
“We will be virtually in the same camp but to each his own,” said Prawit referring to Prayut who has so far remained tight-lipped about his political future.
But Prawit stopped short of saying how the Palang Pracharath may cope with the circumstances under which the brand-new party’s candidates will run against those of the largest coalition partner in the same constituencies anywhere throughout the country.
Whilst the Ruam Thai Sang Chart has reportedly planned to help Prayut with his thinly-veiled design to prolong his rule for about two more years after the next general election by naming him as partisan candidate for prime minister, the Palang Pracharath will also send their own party boss vying for the top post of government.
Given speculation that Prawit may become the No.1 contender of the Palang Pracharath for prime minister, Prayut might probably opt out for the Ruam Thai Sang Chart in bid to contest the post-election premiership against Prawit and a few others.
According to partisan sources, Prayut would not agree to seeing himself put on the No.2 spot among a trio of Palang Pracharath candidates for prime minister. Former police chief Chakthip Chaijinda is more or less speculated as No.3 among the Palang Pracharath trio.
Meanwhile, Prawit categorically denied that deputy Palang Pracharath leader Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn might probably leave for the Ruam Thai Sang Chart in effort to help with Prayut’s desire for prolonged power, saying the digital economy minister will almost certainly stay with his camp for the next general election.
His comments apparently followed speculation that Chaiwut has been more or less tempted behind closed doors to hop over to the pro-Prayut party alongside Palang Pracharath director Suchart Chomklin who concurrently acts as labour minister.
Expected to be brought by Suchart over to the Ruam Thai Sang Chart are some Palang Pracharath MPs currently representing eastern and western constituencies.
Palang Pracharath secretary-general Santi Prompat is another front-line figure speculated to join ranks with the pro-Prayut party since a dozen of “renegade” MPs under guidance of maverick MP Thammanat Prompao have reportedly looked to return to the largest coalition partner on condition that the deputy finance minister be deposed of the current position at Prawit’s camp.
The Thammanat clique’s comeback to the Palang Pracharath has also been offered on condition that Prawit’s camp no longer name Prayut as No.1 candidate for prime minister so that the “renegade” MPs will join the rank and file of the Palang Pracharath and help them win more constituencies than earlier expected.
Prayut has risen to power by way of the 2014 coup which he had orchestrated as army chief, then named himself head of a military-installed government and was finally named the sole Palang Pracharath candidate for prime minister following the 2019 general election, given overwhelming yea votes from 250 senators all of whom had been handpicked by the coup junta.
It remains to be seen how the unelected senators will vote either in support of Prayut or Prawit for prime minister in addition to yea votes from a majority of elected MPs after the next race to parliament.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, right, and Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan. Photo: Matichon
Front Page: Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan. Photo: Thai Rath