By Thai Newsroom Reporters
FORMER PRIME MINISTER Thaksin Shinawatra forecast major “pro-democracy” parties currently being in the opposition bloc will combinedly get 300-plus MPs in the next general election.
During last night’s Care Clubhouse podcast, Thaksin predicted the Pheu Thai, Move Forward, Thai Liberal and Prachachart will likely get no less than 300 MPs altogether in the nationwide election out of a total of 500 in both constituency-based and party-listed modes.
That compares to 250 unelected senators most of who are more or less speculated to vote either for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who will contest the general election under the Ruam Thai Sang Chart banners or Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan for head of a post-election government.
The head of a post-election government is legally required to be endorsed by just over a majority of lawmakers from the House of Representatives and Senate combined, accounting for 375.
According to the former premier who is invariably viewed by many people as the de facto Pheu Thai boss, the forecast number of winning contestants separately running under the tickets of the “pro-democracy” camps will mostly be the Pheu Thai ones.
The former premier who has been taking self-exile overseas following the 2006 coup which deposed him from power, has earlier repeatedly encouraged the Pheu Thai rank and file to score a landslide victory in the general election so they could become core of a post-election coalition government and probably manage to bring him back home.
Without elaborating, Thaksin alleged certain MPs who may have contemplated hopping over from one party to another have already been offered as much as 50 million baht in payoff cash each to prompt their defection during a current run-up to the general election.
Those MPs are more or less expected to switch parties no later than next month’s first weekend for fear of the possibility that Prayut might live out the House’s four-year term scheduled to end in late March, thus legally obliging them to have been registered as member of a contesting party for a minimum of 90 days prior to the election date, tentatively scheduled for mid-May.
However, the MPs will be given more time to decide whether to defect from one party to another if Prayut dissolves the House in the meantime, thus legally obliging them to have been attached to a contesting party for a minimum of 30 days ahead of the election date.
Meanwhile, deputy Palang Pracharath leader Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn predicted today the ruling party and the pro-Prayut camp will very likely join ranks in setting up a post-election government since, he said, Prawit and Prayut have been personally connected with each other and will almost certainly continue to work together.
Chaiwut said Prawit could finally become head of a post-election government, given overwhelming support from Palang Pracharath and Ruam Thai Sang Chart MPs among other future coalition partners, plus the 250 senators.
Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Top photo: VOA, Front Page photo: INN News