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Saturday, September 4, 2021

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth wins confidence vote after frenzied rumours

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth wins confidence vote after frenzied rumours


TCSN Desk 

04 Sep 2021

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has won a confidence vote in the Parliament after a frenzy of speculation over the makeup of the ruling coalition. Rumours his own political allies might try to unseat him had recently overshadowed harsh criticism from the Opposition about his government’s coronavirus response.

Thai media were instead abuzz with rumours that the secretary-general of the military-backed ruling party was leading the effort to unseat Mr. Prayuth and to add the main Opposition party to the coalition.

Mr. Prayuth won 264 votes in the House of Representatives against 208 no confidence votes September 4.

Thai lawmakers voted on September 4 on no-confidence motions filed against PM Prayuth and five members of his Cabinet, after four days of Opposition criticism were overshadowed by heady speculation that his own allies might try to unseat him.


Little attention was given to the details of the Opposition’s harsh accusations that Prayuth’s administration had botched the coronavirus response, countenanced corruption and mismanaged the economy.

Thai media were instead abuzz with rumours that the secretary-general of the ruling, military-backed Palang Pracharath party, which put together the coalition government that named Mr. Prayuth prime minister two years ago, was leading the effort to unseat him and pull the main Opposition Pheu Thai party into the coalition.

What had lent some credibility to the rumours is the dark reputation of the Palang Pracharath secretary-general, Thammanat Prompao, who is deputy agriculture minister in Mr. Prayuth’s Cabinet despite being convicted in Australia in the 1990s for involvement in heroin smuggling. He is held in higher regard as a political power broker who can turn out the vote in northern Thailand.

There was no public confirmation of the rumours, which by September 2 included an accusation that Mr. Prayuth’s side was paying large sums to ensure lawmakers’ support an accusation he flatly denied. “Everyone came to greet me. As I hardly met them, they just came to give me the support. I would not do such nonsense thing (paying money),” he told the Opposition in Parliament.