Thamanat says he's ready to lead

Thamanat says he's ready to lead

Setthakij Thai may soon get new boss

Capt Thamanat Prompow talks to reporters at parliament on Wednesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Capt Thamanat Prompow talks to reporters at parliament on Wednesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Capt Thamanat Prompow announced on Wednesday he is ready to lead the Setthakij Thai Party which is expected to select a new executive committee on June 7.

"I am ready to assume the party leadership if the party members support me," he said, responding to speculation that he would be elected party leader.

He insisted there are no deep divides in Setthakij Thai and said the party would hold a general meeting on the same day to select a new party executive committee.

The revamp was forced by the resignation of 15 party executives on Tuesday, which prompted Gen Wit Devahastin na Ayudhya to step down as leader.

Capt Thamanat also said he would not return to the Palang Pracharath Party although his respect for Deputy Prime Minister and PPRP leader Prawit Wongsuwon remains intact.

He said the party will stand with the people, and its decisions in the next no-confidence debate will be made in the people's best interests.

He also denied rumours that he was in talks with ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Meanwhile, small coalition parties will discuss their political future and a possible merger with the Setthakij Thai Party, says Peerawit Ruengluedollapak, a Thai Rak Tham list-MP.

About 20 small-party representatives will meet Capt Thamanat today or tomorrow to discuss their direction and the political situation, Mr Peerawit said.

There is a possibility that some may merge with Setthakij Thai due to affiliations with Capt Thamanat, he said.

Mr Peerawit said micro-parties were approached to join Capt Thamanat's ranks but no decision was made and that Setthakij Thai would have to take into consideration certain factors including the calculation method for the distribution of party-list seats.

Mr Peerawit, who attended a dinner with the main opposition Pheu Thai Party on Monday, said the next censure debate will be one of the topics at the get-together.

He said small parties had yet to decide if they would support the opposition's censure motion.

Pichet Sathirachawal, leader of "Group of 16" which comprises MPs of micro-parties and some Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) members, said PPRP director Suchart Chomklin asked them to support the government in the budget bill debate and the no-confidence debate.

He said the group members did not make any commitment as they would have to discuss what direction to take first.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew yesterday suggested that Setthakij Thai would support the no-confidence motion.

"There isn't any deal. They will just do so," he said when asked if the opposition would ask the party to back it in the debate after there were changes to the party leadership.

Dr Cholnan said the first reading of the 2023 budget bill in parliament should also be closely watched because if it is rejected the government has to either resign or dissolve the House.

He said MPs have to consider if it will be in the people's interests for them to vote down the bill and let a new government prepare a new spending plan.

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