By Thai Newsroom Reporters
IN A POSSIBLE TWIST of power play, the Palang Pracharath might dissolve their military-installed party with all 41 Palang Pracharath MPs set to join the Pheu Thai to make it the largest party and core of a coalition government in place of the Move Forward, partisan sources said today (May 22).
If Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat has eventually failed to secure yea votes from more than half the combined total of 500 MPs and 250 senators or at least 376 votes to become prime minister after the May 14 general election, the Palang Pracharath headed by Prawit Wongsuwan might probably dissolve their own party sooner than later, sending those MPs skipping over to the Pheu Thai under de facto party boss Thaksin Shinawatra, according to the partisan sources who only spoke on condition of anonymity.
With an addition of 41 MPs from a dissolved Palang Pracharath, the Pheu Thai which currently has 141 MPs will have a total of 182 MPs, thus immediately becoming the largest party and core of a new coalition government, given the possibility of a Move Forward fiasco to make Pita the country’s 30th prime minister.
Many of the senators, all of whom had been handpicked by Prawit and coup leader-turned-prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha following the 2014 coup, are more or less anticipated to abstain from voting only to keep the Move Forward leader short of adequate votes to become prime minister.
Sam Mit Group leader Somsak Thepsuthin has earlier predicted there will be no more than 30 senators to vote for Pita for prime minister whilst a number of MPs from any of the parties other than the Move Forward-led coalition partners might finally add more votes for him.
Meanwhile, the Move Forward which has 152 MPs will almost certainly opt out by becoming part of an opposition bloc only if the Pheu Thai takes their turn to play the leading role as core of government instead.
Prawit is more or less speculated to resign as leader of the Palang Pracharath and simultaneously as MP in party-listed mode for whom no by-election will be held since another party-listed candidate will automatically take his place.
Prawit’s probable decision to call it quits may have been designed to prompt the speculated dissolution of the military-installed party and give a helping hand for the Pheu Thai to become core of a coalition government in place of the Move Forward, the partisan sources said.
Upon the possible failure of Pita to be named prime minister in a joint House/Senate session to be scheduled in near future, either Paetongtarn Shinawatra, daughter of the de facto party boss, or Settha Taweesin will be so named in the next joint session, given a decisive support from many of the 250 senators.
The Pheu Thai-led coalition partners will have a total of about 280 MPs at their command including the Bhumjaithai with 70 MPs, among several others.
The alleged twist on the part of the Pheu Thai to steal the elected premiership from the Move Forward leader had been hatched amidst hearsay that Thaksin had been considerably upset with his party’s debacle over a much-heralded, yet unmet landslide victory in the nationwide election.
Thaksin has made it known to the public that he has intended to return home in the upcoming July after 17 years of self-exile overseas following the 2006 coup.
Though Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew has earlier offered to resign as “nominal” leader of the party only if his party may have manipulated, albeit in hush-hush fashion, the alleged formation of a coalition government in competition with the Move Forward and even branded the speculated Pheu Thai-Palang Pracharath merger an “impossibility”, he practically cannot stand in the way of the alleged shenanigan, the sources said.
Top: Palang Pracharth leader Prawit Wongsuwan, left, and former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, right. Photo: Getty Images and published by BBC
Front Page: Palang Pracharth leader Prawit Wongsuwan. Photo: INN News
Also read: Move Forward-led coalition partners sign MoU