BANGKOK – Paetongtarn Shinawatra said Tuesday that she would be ready to become Pheu Thai’s next leader if the party chose her to succeed Cholnan Srikaew, who resigned on Aug. 30.
Cholnan had kept his promise to resign as leader if the party formed a government with the Palang Pracharath or United Thai Nation parties, which he duly followed through.
Mrs Paetongtarn, daughter of former Prime Minister and Pheu Thai patriarch Thaksin Shinawatra, spoke at an event to mark the party’s 16th anniversary at Pheu Thai headquarters on Tuesday.
“I will accept (the party’s decision) if there is a more suitable leadership candidate,” she said, responding to questions from journalists who noted that some senior party members were backing new-generation politicians like her as potential Pheu Thai leaders.
“However, if the party elects me as its next leader I will gladly accept the invitation,” she said, adding that she was determined to achieve the party’s goals and had no doubts about her ability to be its leader.
Paetongtarn also offered an update on Thaksin’s condition, saying he was recovering from surgery he had undergone last week.
Thaksin He returned to the country in August. face jail terms stemming from convictions for abuse of power during his tenure as prime minister.
He was transferred from prison to Police General Hospital in Bangkok on August 23 after a health problem.
“His blood pressure improves some days but worsens others. We still don’t know when she will be able to leave the hospital,” Paetongtarn stated.
On September 1, the former prime minister’s prison sentence was commuted by the King of Thailand from eight years to one year.
Paetongtarn said he was considering requesting a suspension of Thaksin’s remaining jail term so he could receive medical care at home, but had not yet submitted the request. THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK