Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat and Pheu Thai MPs Charupong Ruangsuwan and Pol Lt Gen Wiroj Pao-in are being tipped as candidates to succeed Yongyuth Wichaidit, who resigned as party leader yesterday.
The three names emerged after Mr Yongyuth formally announced his resignation as party leader and party list MP.
A highly placed party source said the three stood a chance of being picked because they suited the Shinawatra family's requirement of being people they could control.
The source said Mr Yongyuth's resignation had been agreed by former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, House No.111 politicians and the party's strategic team.
They believed the resignation could help avoid putting the party at any risk of being dissolved by the Constitution Court.
Mr Yongyuth resigned last week as interior minister under pressure from the National Anti-Corruption Commission's (NACC) ruling which found him at fault in approving the Alpine Golf Course land deal in 2002 while serving as acting permanent interior secretary.
The ministry's civil service sub-committee which further investigated the case after the NACC findings ordered his retroactive dismissal last month.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Mr Yongyuth did not want to cause any concerns, so he decided to step down from all his positions in the party.
Democrat Party MP Wirat Kallayasiri said that despite Mr Yongyuth's resignation, a petition to determine whether he is qualified to be an MP must proceed.
House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont has to continue with Mr Yongyuth's case by verifying his documentation before forwarding the petition to the Constitution Court, Mr Wirat said.
Election commissioner Sodsri Satayathum also said the petition should go ahead.
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Writer: Aekarach Sattaburuth & Patsara Jikkham