In a moment of anticipation and shifting alliances, Pae Thongtarn Shinawatra, the Pheu Thai Party’s candidate, took the podium at Bangkok Thonburi University on August 20, 2023, to address the forthcoming prime ministerial vote. The crucial decision, scheduled for August 22, has prompted a concerted effort from the Pheu Thai Party (PT) in its pursuit of nominating Mr. Srettha Thavisin as the potential prime ministerial candidate. This strategic move underlines the PT Party’s resolute intent to establish a government promptly and employing the party’s policies to ameliorate public concerns.
When queried about the contingency plan in the event that Mr. Srettha Thavisin’s bid for the Prime Minister’s position encounters obstacles, Pae Thongtarn expressed her steadfast focus on Srettha. “Our priority is to concentrate on Mr. Srettha first, rather than turning our gaze inwards. Diverting our attention would risk instability. Consequently, we are fully committed to advocating for Mr. Srettha’s nomination, with the hope of securing success and thereby providing a government for the people.”
Pressed to reaffirm the anticipated timeframe for the Prime Ministerial vote’s culmination by August 22, Pae Thongtarn commented with optimism, “I am hopeful that it will be achieved.”
When addressing the rising criticism in response to the recent campaign stance shifts, both from Mr. Srettha and herself, as well as Dr. Chonnan Srikaew, the Democratic Party’s leader, Pae Thongtarn offered candid insight.
She stated, “To put it plainly, on that day, our message might not have been entirely lucid. Our campaign aimed to poll and gauge the public sentiment, striving for a landslide victory. However, achieving the landslide wasn’t feasible. Consequently, there lies an element of uncertainty. This uncertainty can be attributed to the intricacies introduced by the 2017 Constitution, particularly the Senate’s role. This echoes a scenario we’ve previously encountered—winning elections but failing to form a government. Thus, we comprehend the potential for the absence of a government. Hence, some individuals might possess clarity while others remain uncertain at times. Nonetheless, our determination persists. If the Pheu Thai Party gains the opportunity to govern, we will tirelessly work towards resolving the various challenges faced by the populace, overcoming this emotive terrain with unwavering resolve. Importantly, we will remain rooted in the people’s mandate.”
In response to inquiries concerning potential doubts regarding Mr. Srettha, and whether a backup plan existed, should his candidacy encounter setbacks, Pae Thongtarn underscored, “We’ve examined every detail within the legal framework. In the instance of claims without substantiated evidence, like those questioning Mr. Srettha, well, the evidence he provided is crystal clear. Hence, substantiated proof is requisite. Notably, Sansiri Co., Ltd. is a listed company, making verification feasible. Thus, issues are unlikely to arise. However, I emphasize the significance of basing decisions on reliable information.”
When probed about her personal preferences between securing ministerial positions or concentrating on party work, Pae Thongtarn disclosed her current emphasis on party affairs. Reflecting on media attributions of various roles—ranging from Deputy Prime Minister to ministerial posts—she conveyed gratitude for the recognition bestowed upon her, stating, “I am genuinely appreciative and extend my thanks.”