Pheu Thai 'plots taking over role'
text size

Pheu Thai 'plots taking over role'

House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

The Pheu Thai Party plans to press the Prachachat Party into giving the House Speaker's post to the party amid intense speculation about a cabinet reshuffle, a source said on Thursday.

The ruling party is aiming to revamp its parliamentary work and wants to give the post to one of the party's heavyweights, possibly one of the ministers who will be removed from the cabinet in the rejig, said the source.

However, the party will face a difficult task in reclaiming the post from the Prachachat Party as the current House Speaker, Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, 79, is a senior figure and it is unclear what he would do if he were to give up the position.

Mr Wan Noor, a former Prachachat Party leader, was nominated for House Speaker to end an impasse between Pheu Thai and the Move Forward Party (MFP) when eight prospective coalition parties led by the MFP tried to form a coalition government last year.

Mr Wan Noor, meanwhile, said on Thursday that while he has no attachment to the post, he does not want parliamentary affairs to be meddled with as the House speaker post is one of the three pillars in the democratic system.

"If there is intervention for my resignation, parliament isn't what it's supposed to be. The prime minister is authorised to make a cabinet reshuffle, but the House Speaker's term is specified by the charter.

"No one can change it except if he is unable to fulfil his duty or resigns," he said.

Mr Wan Noor resigned as Prachachat Party leader after being elected House Speaker. Under the constitution, the House Speaker is required to maintain political neutrality by not holding a position in any political party.

Justice Minister and Prachachat list-MP Tawee Sodsong said yesterday a cabinet reshuffle and the House Speaker post are two separate matters. He was asked about the rumour that the post would be given to a cabinet minister ousted from the cabinet.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Thursday declined to comment on speculation that Pheu Thai would seek the return of the House Speaker post. He said the party attaches importance to parliament's work but he is not in the position to answer the question, which should be directed to the Pheu Thai Party leader.

"I'd rather not talk about this because it affects other people and it is not my business," he said.

Mr Srettha also remained coy about the widely speculated reshuffle.

Talk about the cabinet reshuffle and a change of House Speaker appears to have followed Mr Srettha's remark about putting the right man in the right job, whether it was executive work or legislative work.

It is widely speculated that two Pheu Thai veterans -- Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang and Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew -- will be removed from the cabinet and assigned to oversee the ruling party's parliamentary affairs and strategies.

Following the general election last year, Dr Cholnan was tipped for the House Speaker's post, but Mr Wan Noor was nominated when Pheu Thai and the MFP reached a compromise.

Do you like the content of this article?