Prayut scoffs at 'Dhanin for PM' article
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has brushed aside a South China Morning Post article claiming that billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, senior chairman of Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, will be named prime minister in a coalition government.
The report came after he stepped down as chairman of one of the conglomerate's key businesses.
Gen Prayut said on Tuesday that that was impossible, and he knew nothing about the matter.
On April 24, Mr Dhanin resigned as chairman of the board from SET-listed Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) Plc, Thailand's largest agriculture conglomerate, "citing 'other duties' that kept him from remaining in the position", according to the article.
The May 9 article, written by Jitsiree Thongnoi, said: "His departure took the public and the media by surprise, prompting speculation that Mr Dhanin, who remains senior chairman of CP Group, was venturing into politics."
The story went on to say, "Even though the Chearavanont clan has never publicly pronounced their political affiliations, two theories have been prevalent in local media: either Mr Dhanin will be named prime minister in a coalition government should an elected cabinet fail to take shape, or he might be named one of the 250 senators hand-picked by the regime who have the power to vote for a prime minister."
CP Group, in a letter to the South China Morning Post after the article was published, said Mr Dhanin's resignation was part of a "gradual succession management process".
"It is therefore not as the article suggested for senior chairman Dhanin to pursue a political career in any form," the letter said.