By Thai Newsroom Reporters
FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER Surakiart Sathirathai will likely be proclaimed at the last minute as the top person among a trio of Pheu Thai partisan candidates for prime minister, said a partisan source today (Feb.4).
Surakiart who currently chairs the Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council Foundation, used to perform as foreign minister about two decades ago during the time of a ruling Thai Rak Thai Party led by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, according to the source who only spoke on condition that he not be identified.
In addition, Surakiart also performed as deputy prime minister and finance minister during separate periods of Thaksin’s era which came to an end due to the 2006 coup.
Thaksin has apparently intended to keep Surakiart unmentioned by the Pheu Thai rank and file as one of the trio of the Pheu Thai contenders for prime minister.
The two others, namely Thaksin’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra and real estate tycoon Settha Taweesin, have been unveiled to the public since the last few months will be a second and third choice respectively as far as Thaksin, being the de facto Pheu Thai party boss, is concerned, the source said.
Surakiart, viewed as a Mr. Nice Guy who has been “constantly congenial” with everyone and had no enemies in the political arena, has been invariably entrusted by Thaksin to become the top choice of the Pheu Thai camp for head of a post-election government, he said.
Thaksin has feared Surakiart could not have stood the heat if he was earlier unveiled to the public as one of the Pheu Thai trio.
The former foreign minister might probably be officially proclaimed on the day of his application as the “surprise” contestant for prime minister under the Pheu Thai tickets, the source said.
Top: Former foreign minister Surakiart Sathirathai. Photo: Thai Rath
Front Page: Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Photo: Getty Images and published by BBC Thai