Senior party report that Paetongtarn Shinawatra is overwhelmingly favoured to assume leadership of the ruling Pheu Thai Party in Thailand and guide a promising group of young politicians in the party’s changing of the guard following Friday’s election of new leaders and executives.
Acting deputy party leader Phumtham Wechayachai stated on Tuesday that Pheu Thai members are supporting Ms. Paetongtarn, the youngest daughter of incarcerated former premier Thaksin Shinawatra and head of the Pheu Thai Family, in her bid to become the party’s next leader.
Minister of Commerce and Deputy Prime Minister Phumtham stated that, at the age of 37, she is now well-suited for a leadership role due to her political acumen and maturation. He also emphasised her responsiveness to the concerns of Pheu Thai members and her collaborative efforts with them during previous election campaigns.
Ms. Paetongtarn, on the other hand, might benefit from consulting her family prior to deciding whether or not to pursue party leadership, according to Mr. Phumtham.
Furthermore, he recognised the presence of a considerable number of competent members, including candidates in their middle years and individuals in their twenties who have political affiliations with Pheu Thai’s predecessors, the Thai Rak Thai (TRT) Party and its current successor, the People’s Power Party (PPP). In consequence of electoral malpractice, the TRT and the PPP were both dissolved.
The Pheu Thai was now prepared to hand over the baton to younger legislators, according to 69-year-old Mr. Phumtham.
Acting Pheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Chantararuangthong stated that the meeting was convened subsequent to the resignation of Pheu Thai leader Dr. Cholnan Srikaew on August 30. This action essentially led to a purging of executives.
Mr. Prasert remarked that Ms. Paetongtarn is an ideal candidate to lead Pheu Thai due to her ability to command respect and organise a gathering. In the ballot, however, the members will have the final say.
New executives and leadership
Mr. Prasert stated that it is time for a new generation of politicians to conduct party leadership after declining re-election as secretary-general. He added that further internal transformations were forthcoming, equipping the party for the upcoming election.
By appointing new executives and leadership, Pheu Thai was now able to compete directly with the election-winning Move Forward Party (MFP), the principal opposition party comprised primarily of youthful politicians.
Sunday, Pheu Thai nominated prime minister Srettha Thavisin, who advocated for Ms. Paetongtarn to lead the party, citing her leadership ability.
According to a source for Pheu Thai, Sorawong Thienthong will succeed Mr. Prasert as secretary-general. His father, the seasoned politician Sanoh Thienthong, was a “kingmaker” during his political prime. The 48-year-old member of parliament from Sa Kaeo province previously served as deputy public health minister during the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.
Pheu Thai is anticipated to elect former actor and list member Chusak Sirinil, Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat, and Roi Et MP Jiraporn Sinthuprai as deputy party leaders at the meeting on Friday. Party spokesman Danuporn Punnakanta is also a list member.
Former Thailand Premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s Hospital Stay Extended
On Monday, former premier Thaksin Shinawatra underwent orthopaedic surgery at the Police General Hospital (PGH). The Department of Corrections reports that it is currently unknown how long his recuperation will take, which will likely result in an extension of his term away from prison.
Tuesday, interim director-general of the department and deputy permanent secretary for justice Sahakarn Petnarin stated that the Bangkok Remand Prison (BRP) had notified the department regarding the procedure.
The department stated, citing a BRP report, that Thaksin, the de facto leader of the Pheu Thai Party and a widely recognised de facto leader, underwent surgery at 9 a.m. and was transferred to the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the hospital for recovery at 2:00 p.m.
The department directed that the director of the BRP conduct a site inspection of the NICU to verify that all is well.
Mr. Sahakarn stated that the length of Thaksin’s hospital stay is contingent upon the ongoing evaluation of his post-operative condition.
The 74-year-old former prime minister, according to medical records, suffers from a number of age-related ailments, including a herniated disc and weakened hands and arms.
Although the operation was deemed essential and necessary, he will be readmitted to the prison’s medical facility for further treatment once he has fully recovered, according to Mr. Sahakarn.
His insistence was that Thaksin was not the beneficiary of any preferential treatment.
Concerns regarding Thaksin’s medical conditions have prompted the disclosure of his recent surgery. The BRP admitted him to the hospital on August 22, following his return from a self-imposed exile of fifteen years.
The department stated that Thaksin is not the only inmate permitted to receive medical treatment outside the facility for this extended period.
149 inmates have received medical treatment outside of incarceration since October 1 of last year. The department reports that of them, 115 spent more than 30 days outdoors, 30 remained outside for more than 60 days, and four spent more than 120 days outdoors.