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Thanathorn confirmed as anti-junta bloc nominee in PM contest 

Jun 04. 2019
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By The Nation

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The anti-junta bloc of political parties has decided to nominate Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Future Forward Party, to contest for the post of prime minister against junta chief and current PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha in the election on Wednesday.

This is despite Thanathorn’s current suspension from MP duties pending the outcome of a Constitutional Court case against him. 

The Pheu Thai Party, leader of the bloc with the most MPs following the March 24 general election, gave way to the bloc’s second-biggest player in terms of number of MPs, reportedly in a bid to gain a possible swing vote from the Democrat Party in the PM contest.

If the nominee were from Pheu Thai, it is unlikely that MPs from outside the bloc would support the candidate.

Moreover, Pheu Thai secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai on Tuesday said the party’s nominee, Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, had already announced she would not take any position in a new government – and she would keep her word.

Aside from Pheu Thai’s candidate and Thanathorn, Sereepisuth Temeeyaves is a strong figure within the bloc. 

However, because his affiliation party Seri Ruam Thai had not won 25 MPs, as required by the Constitution to field a PM nominee, the anti-junta politician is not eligible to contest for the top government post.

Although Thanathorn is currently suspended from carrying out any MP duties due to the ongoing case against him for holding shares in a media company at the time of his registration as an MP candidate ahead of the March poll, the seven parties from the anti-junta bloc view him as qualified to be their PM candidate.

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