Pheu Thai to field Srettha for PM in 3rd round if Pita fails again: Paetongtarn
The Pheu Thai Party would nominate Srettha Thavisin in the third round of the election for prime minister if Move Forward Party's PM candidate, Pita Limjaroenrat, fails to win the post in the second round on Wednesday, Pheu Thai PM candidate Paetongtarn Shinawatra said on Tuesday.
She was commenting about the hypothetical scenario of Pita failing once again to secure at least 63 votes from senators or MPs outside the eight-party bloc.
On Monday, all the coalition partners reaffirmed their stand to field and vote for Pita in the second round, while the coalition leader promised to step aside for the Pheu Thai to lead the coalition if he failed in his second bid to win the prime minister election.
Paetongtarn said Pheu Thai would try its best to support Pita in the PM vote but if Pita fails, she would propose to a meeting of the Pheu Thai board to nominate Srettha in the next round of the PM vote after Pheu Thai becomes the coalition leader.
Paetongtarn is the first PM candidate of Pheu Thai, Srettha the second and Chaikasem Nitisiri the third.
“I don’t want any post in the executive. All three PM candidates are willing to help with the work no matter what the position,” Paetongtarn said.
She said that she was not aware of a group of Pheu Thai MPs from the northeastern provinces wanting to push her to the PM post but she admitted frankly that it would not be easy to lead the country in the current situation.
“So, I think the best choice is Srettha. He will be able to tackle the economic woes and solve various problems in no time if the Pheu Thai becomes the coalition leader. If not, Pheu Thai would still be willing to support the Move Forward-led coalition,” Paetongtarn said.
She was confident that she would be able to explain the situation to the northeastern MPs.
“In the meantime, I’ll continue to learn about the country’s administration and develop myself,” Paetongtarn added.
She said she could not tell as of now whether Move Forward would be included as a partner if Pheu Thai became the coalition leader, as this decision must be made by the party’s executive board.
She was responding to a reporter’s question about many senators vowing not to vote for the Pheu Thai PM candidate either if Move Forward remained in the coalition.
She said she had not heard anything about reports that the Chart Thai Pattana Party had been invited to join the coalition if the Pheu Thai became the coalition leader. Chart Thai Pattana leader Varawut Silpa-archa had earlier told reporters he had talked to certain core Pheu Thai members about joining a Pheu Thai-led coalition.
Paetongtarn also dismissed reports that the bloc of parties of the old coalition would pay some 20 Pheu Thai MPs to switch sides to support the old coalition. She said she had talked to many core members and no one had heard about Pheu Thai MPs' defection plans.
Paetontarn revealed that her father, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, had postponed his plan to return to Thailand pending the formation of the next government. Earlier, Thaksin had said he would return to Thailand this month.
“Dad told me he can wait. He will wait for the political situation to settle down first. But I don’t know what kind of political situation he would see as appropriate before deciding to return,” Paetongtarn said.