Prawit ‘clears the air’ with rebel MPs

Deputy Prime Minister and Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) leader Prawit Wongsuwon on Monday cleared the air with six party MPs who voted against Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda and Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin.

They addressed the issue when Gen Prawit showed up in Samut Prakan’s Muang district for a meeting on water management. Krungsriwilai Sutinphuak, one of the six MPs, was seen prostrating to perform a krab as Gen Prawit got out of his car.

Emerging from the meeting, Gen Prawit said he and the MPs had cleared the air with the group apologising for not toeing the party line.

He said there was no need to set up a committee to investigate and the issue would now be considered by the party board to determine if they would face actions.

Before the Saturday vote took place, Gen Prawit instructed PPRP MPs to cast votes of confidence in favour of Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and 10 cabinet ministers targeted in the no-confidence debate.

Krungsriwilai: Prostrates to Prawit

However, six PPRP MPs — Krungsriwilai, Thapakorn Kulcharoen, Prim Pooncharoen, Yongyuth Suwanbutr and Akarawat Asavahame, all Samut Prakan MPs under the Pak Nam Group, along with list-MP Torsak Asvahame — voted against Gen Anupong and Mr Suchart.

Before Gen Prawit’s arrival, Mr Krungsriwilai told reporters that the group’s no-confidence vote was intended as a nudge to Gen Anupong who they believed has turned a deaf ear to the demands of people in Samut Prakan.

He said that the group wanted Gen Prawit to take over as interior minister.

“We’re being straightforward. Our demands haven’t been replied to. It’s not just Gen Anupong, if the prime minister does something wrong, I’ll discuss it in public … We want Gen Prawit as interior minister. Gen Anupong never responds to our project proposals … never approves funds. That’s why the six MPs voted against him,” he said.

PPRP MP for Samut Prakan, Krungsiwilai Sutinphuak, performs a ‘krab’ before Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon as he steps out of his car. 

Mr Akarawat told reporters that his faction respected Gen Prawit and they had their reasons for voting against the interior minister and the labour minister.

Meanwhile, Gen Prawit assured residents during his visit that there would be a cabinet minister from Samut Prakan in any future reshuffle.

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