“I am not thinking about Cabinet reshuffle or House dissolution because enactments of key legislations have not been done yet,” Prayut said when asked to comment on the ouster of the group of MPs.
The Palang Pracharath-led coalition government has only a slim majority in the House and losing the support of the expelled MPs could cripple the administration in its efforts to pass any bill or motion.
But a source from the Palang Pracharath said the ouster of the group led by former Palang Pracharath secretary-general Thamanat Prompow was just a legal tactic for the 21 MPs to join a new party without losing their MP status.
The source said as Prayut was not comfortable with Thamanat’s presence in the ruling party, the ousted lawmaker would join the New Economics Party along with 20 MPs loyal to him. Thamanat and 20 other MPs, however, would remain loyal to Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan so the coalition would not lose support in the House, the source added.
If MPs resign from a party on their own, they would lose their parliamentary status. The political party law allows MPs expelled by parties to join a new party within 30 days.
Prayut said he had nothing to do with the ouster of the group because it was a decision of the party’s executive board.
Prayut said he respected the democracy and he had taken up the post of prime minister in a democratic way to administer the country.
The PM said his critics were painting a distorted picture that he was being propped up by senators as the coup leader. “But as a matter of fact, I was nominated by political parties and the senators deliberated on my nomination,” Prayut said. “Parties would not nominate me if they could not gather enough support from MPs.”
When asked at the press conferee as to whether he had talked to Prawit recently and whether the deputy prime minister had sent any signal to him, Prayut replied: “We have love and good wishes for each other and we have mutual respect,” and walked away.
Published : January 20, 2022
By : THE NATION