Thaksin points out why some former MPs are leaving Pheu Thai

Fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has explained to his supporters why some former MPs are leaving Pheu Thai for other parties, saying they may be doing it for money or may be too confident in themselves.

In a video call on Friday afternoon to his supporters, Thaksin said those leaving Pheu Thai may be doing so for two reasons.

“I am thinking about sending a Twitter message to thank them for leaving Pheu Thai. In doing so they are like giving people of the new generation a chance to get elected as people’s representatives.”

“There are two reasons for them to be leaving. First, they want a large sum of money from those who are foolish enough to pay them — only to quit politics after taking the money. Second, they are too confident in themselves, forgetting that in the past they were elected because of the party’s name,” Thaksin said to his supporters.

Earlier, Phumtham Vechayachai, the acting Pheu Thai secretary-general, said in an interview with ThaiPBS that the departure of some former Pheu Thai MPs would not affect the party. The reported number of ex-MPs leaving the party is too high and not realistic, he added.

Mr Phumtham said from the list of 40-50 former MPs reported to be leaving Pheu Thai, most of them had run under the party banner but failed for many times. They are only former Pheu Thai members with little role to play, he added.

In a related political development, it was reported that some former Pheu Thai MPs, including Suriya Jungrungreangkit and Somsak Thepsuthin, who had reportedly joined a new political group called Sam Mitr, would hold a press conference on June 30 at the Pinehurst Golf Course to explain their political movement.