Suchart exits stage left with move to UTN with PM likely

Suchart exits stage left with move to UTN with PM likely

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin has resigned as executive and director of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) amid speculation he will follow Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to join the United Thai Nation Party (UTN).

Suchart: Denies Thamanat a factor

He said yesterday that he tendered his resignation letter on Monday morning and had informed Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, the PPRP leader, of his decision.

Mr Suchart said he was grateful for the support he received from Gen Prawit and the PPRP, but he had his reasons for leaving, a move widely predicted to see him join the PM at the UTN.

The labour minister said his decision had nothing to do with a rumour that Capt Thamanat Prompow, the expelled former secretary-general of the PPRP, would return to the party.

It was reported that Mr Suchart was among about 40 MPs planning to leave the PPRP. Gen Prayut is widely expected to join the UTN led by Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, an adviser to the prime minister.

Meanwhile, a source at Government House said that the "three brothers in arms" -- a reference to Gen Prayut, Gen Prawit, and Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda -- had engaged in an unusually long, private conversation before attending a cabinet meeting.

During the cabinet meeting, attendees showed a lack of enthusiasm while Gen Prayut and Gen Prawit spoke to each other very often, the source said.

Several cabinet ministers from the PPRP were also seen talking exclusively with the pair.

However, cabinet ministers from the Sam Mitr (Three Allies) faction -- Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin and Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit, kept their distance from both Gen Prawit and Gen Prayut, the source said.

At the conclusion of the cabinet meeting, the source quoted Gen Prayut as saying: "Thank you for staying together for more than three years. Just try to do the best you can."

Mr Somsak, who also serves as chairman of the PPRP's strategic committee, said that the Sam Mitr faction would continue to work with the PPRP.

Asked about reports of PPRP MPs seeking to defect, he said it is normal for MPs to switch parties ahead of an election.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT

Thailand improves in corruption survey

Thailand has improved by nine places to 101st out of 180 countries in the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index from 110th in 2021, Transparency International (TI) said on Tuesday.

31 Jan 2023

Anutin posters cause a stir

The Pheu Thai Party on Tuesday joined a call for the Election Commission (EC) to look into posters erected at many state-run hospitals depicting Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

31 Jan 2023

Court lets 'Pinky' remove electronic tag

Actress Savika “Pinky” Chaiyadej on Tuesday won approval from the Criminal Court to remove an electronic monitoring (EM) device she was required to wear after her release from jail on Nov 30 last year.

31 Jan 2023