Rumors inside ruling party of early house dissolution

There are continued rumors inside the Palang Pracharat Party that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha will dissolve the house early despite public denials by the premier, a inside source told Thai Enquirer on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has repeated to local media several times over the past several days that he has no intention to reshuffle his cabinet or dissolve the house.

Prayut’s position has been tenuous since a putsch attempt by members of the ruling party in September resulted in a fractured PPRP and the removal of two key deputy ministers from the cabinet.

Prayut and his government has been under fire for months for its inability to fight against the pandemic, their lethargic vaccine acquisition program, and more recently mismanagement of flooding in the central and northern regions.

But despite the ongoing pressure and a fractious party, the premier said to local news media he has no intention to quit or call early polls.

According to a party insider, however, the denials are “just for show” and that Prayut was biding his time while gathering allies ahead of a early house dissolution.

“Many inside the party are now confident that a dissolution will happen, maybe as early as November,” said a senior PPRP adviser who asked not to be named.

“When parliament reconvenes in November, the fractures inside the PPRP will be clear to see and it will make Prayut’s job that much harder,” the source said. “A prime minister that can’t govern, that can’t pass bills, will lose face in the public’s eye.”

That is why, according to the source, Prayut might skip the public embarrassment and call for an early election.

It remains to be seen whether it is the right move for the embattled prime minister. Prayut has made powerful enemies when he removed Thammanat Prompao from his deputy minister position – even if Thammanat was plotting against him.

If Thammanat leaves or forms a new party it could be curtains for the multi-factions that have coexisted within the PPRP so far.

“Every leader inside the party is courting MPs to their faction,” said the source. “The party is very much split right now.”

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