However, while General Prawit Wongsuwan denied the report, Finance Minister Uttama Savayaon admitted he had been “requested” to resign as leader of Palang Pracharat Party. But he said he will not do so.
According to reports, the story goes something like this:
General Prawit plans to “clean out” the Palang Pracharat Party.
He wants to “squeeze out” party leader Finance Minister Uttama, party secretary Energy Minister Sonthirat Sonthijirawong and perhaps even Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.
General Prawit would become party leader.
Is this because of the poor performance by Finance Minister Uttama over the 5,000 baht scheme?
Sure, but there’s more to it, according to reports.
Apparently, there’s a “hidden agenda.”
Evidently, it’s about “politics.”
It’s about “clipping the power” of coalition partners.
Namely, the Democrat Party and the Bhumjaitai Party.
Specifically, Bhumjaitai boss Anutin Charnvirakul, who reports say, is the “number two candidate for prime minister” after General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
After all, Anutin is the leader of the second largest coalition partner.
The plan is to lobby for party executives to resign. If over half of them resign, Uttama is automatically out, as the party will have to re-elect new executives, including the party leader.
Who are the individuals in this conspiracy?
Here’s a list given by The Nation.
First, someone by the name of Sae A, which The Nation said might be Interior Minister General Anupong Paojinda.
Second, Viraj Rattanaseth, chairman of the government whip.
Third, Suchart Chomklin, a powerful player within the party.
Fourth, Anucha Nakasai, a leader of the Wang Nam Yom Faction, which is made up of prominent former Pheu Thai politicians.
Fifth, believe it or not, how is she even relevant here, Government Spokesperson Narumon Pinyosinwat.
What about General Prayut?
Most analysis are saying however, that this is a move to “extend the life” of the government, which has been battered and bruised in the court of public opinion over its handling of the COVID-19 crisis in particular and its performance in general.
The question which no one has the answer to as yet is: What is the prime minister’s role in all of this?
The plan may or may not go ahead, depending on General Prayut.