THE NEW LEADER of Pheu Thai Party will be known after April 1 and there would be no surprises, key party figure Watana Muangsook said.
Watana revealed about the new party leader on his Facebook post on Thursday with photos of him and fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra taken in Singapore.
Thaksin and his sister Yingluck, also a fugitive former PM, recently travelled to China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Both former PMs met many Pheu Thai leaders and former MPs.
Party sources said they had discussed the party’s new leader with Thaksin.
They claimed Thaksin still supported Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan to be the new leader.
In his post, Watana – who said he often meets Thaksin abroad during festive seasons for blessing – denied the former PM’s influence in selecting the party leader, saying it was just a rumour and not true.
“Whoever will be picked to take that post must be a person who fought alongside the party and the people after the coup, otherwise party members will not accept [the candidate],” he posted.
“We have to wait until after April 1. There would be no surprises and its’ a familiar face,” he added.
April 1 is the starting date for existing political parties to begin communicating with party members about confirming their memberships.
Watana said his party had yet to choose a candidate to become the next prime minister. He named five senior leaders – Sudarat, Chaturon Chaisang, Bhokin Bhalakula, Chaikasem Nitisiri and Phongthep Thepkanjana – as the frontrunners.