Happy to pool ideas, keen to counter PTP
Deputy Prime Minister and Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) leader Prawit Wongsuwon has vowed to implement any party’s policies that benefit the public if he becomes prime minister after the election.
Gen Prawit said on Facebook on Wednesday that several policies proposed by parties are well thought out as they have been carefully formulated by top people of each party.
“But it will be a shame if those policies cannot be implemented because these parties end up in the opposition bloc,” Gen Prawit said.
“My intention is that if I lead the government [after the next poll], I will set up a committee to select decent policies proposed by all parties during campaigning and put them into action without any discrimination as long as those policies benefit the public. This is for the sake of steering the country forward.
“This is the kind of politics that I have in mind. It is politics where there is no decisive winner or total loser,” Gen Prawit said in the post.
“I am not a good speaker, but I have a heart big enough to accept a difference of opinion to overcome conflict.
“Let’s move past the conflict together,” Gen Prawit, who is the PPRP’s sole prime ministerial candidate, said.
Meanwhile, a photo circulating among the media on Wednesday showed Gen Prawit having lunch with Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul, Bhumjaithai secretary-general Saksayam Chidchob and a Bhumjaithai MP for Uthai Thani, Chada Thaiset, at the Foundation for the Conservation of Forests in Five Adjoining Provinces in the compound of the 1st Infantry Regiment in Bangkok.
Wanwichit Boonprong, a political science lecturer at Rangsit University, told the Bangkok Post that Gen Prawit’s FB post has shown his true self as he wants to make use of resources of all power groups to further his aims.
“His remarks that he will bring policies from all parties together means he is sending invitations to them to work with him and he will not reject their demands.
“The photo of Gen Prawit having lunch with Mr Anutin, Mr Saksayam, and Mr Chada is symbolic of a high degree of bargaining power. It shows the PPRP has an offer no one can deny. Meanwhile, it also shows that Bhumjaithai wants to return to power even if Mr Anutin does not become prime minister after the poll,” Mr Wanwichit said.
Mr Wanwichit said Gen Prawit’s weakness is that he is not held in high regard among the middle class, though his strength is that he knows all power groups want to hold talks with him and this has been touted as his selling point.
The academic also believed Gen Prawit’s “no decisive winner or loser” strategy is intended to counteract the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) plan to win at least 310 House seats and form a single-party government after the next poll.
“This is in response to Pheu Thai’s plan to win 310 seats. Pheu Thai wants to show it will not ally itself with the PPRP and stop speculation that it would allow Gen Prawit to become PM,” Mr Wanwichit said.
“If the PPRP did nothing to respond to Pheu Thai, several more MPs might defect to Pheu Thai. This is a political gambit to counter Pheu Thai’s bid to win by a landslide,” he said.
Olarn Thinbangtieo, a political science lecturer at Burapha University, echoed the view, saying the defections from the PPRP and Pheu Thai’s plan to secure 310 seats prompted Gen Prawit’s move.
Gen Prawit is seeking a political ally with election prospects and Bhumjaithai, which is flexible enough to work with any party, fits the bill, Mr Olarn said.
“Their alliance will boost their bargaining power and could be seen as a threat to Pheu Thai’s ambition for a landslide victory,” he said.