Pheu Thai readies PM choices
Officials 'unsure' over Chaikasem for third spot
The main opposition Pheu Thai Party is planning to reveal all three of its prime ministerial candidates next month or in March, according to a party source.
The party, however, remains undecided between Chaikasem Nitisiri, who was nominated for prime minister in the previous election in 2019, and Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew for its third candidate.
Paetongtarn Shinawatra, who is Pheu Thai's chief adviser on public participation and innovation, and Srettha Thavisin, president and chief executive of real estate developer Sansiri Plc, are said to have already been given the nod.
The source said the party will gradually disclose names of potential MP candidates who will contest the constituencies. Any celebrities rumoured to be joining the party as its candidates will be among the last group to be unveiled.
The source added Mr Srettha has assumed a more active role in the party, having attended meetings with its executives and core members. He has often taken part in directing party's affairs.
As for the vacant third candidate spot, the source said the party executive board will have a final say over who will fill it. The choices have boiled down to Mr Chaikasem and Dr Cholnan.
If Dr Cholnan was eventually picked as third prime ministerial candidate, it would dispel doubts about the party's reluctance to nominate its leader for prime minister.
However, the source said that it was not customary for the Pheu Thai to field its leader as prime ministerial candidate.
In the previous poll, its leader was not among the three candidates vying for premiership.
They were Mr Chaikasem, Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan (who has since defected to form her own party, Thai Sang Thai), and Chadchart Sittipunt, now Bangkok governor.
Meanwhile, Seksakol Atthawong, the prime minister's adviser and member of the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party, said he believed the UTN will make inroads into many of Pheu Thai's strongholds in the Northeast.
He said he was confident voters, including those in the constituency-rich Northeast would rally behind the UTN.
Mr Seksakol also branded some Pheu Thai Party members' recent landslide talk "hot air."