BANGKOK, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Several former Thai cabinet members have joined a brand-new party which plans to launch a large-scale campaign to support Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha as head of post-election government.
Those former cabinet members, who had served varied ministerial portfolios over the last several years, have eventually turned themselves into defectors of their former bosses, namely former prime ministers of Thaksin Shinawatra and Yingluck Shinawatra, both currently in self-exile overseas.
They include Suriya Juangroongruangkit, Somsak Thepsuthin, Santi Promphat and Preecha Rengsomboonsuk.
Led by Suriya and Somsak, those veteran politicians and dozens of others enrolled themselves at Sunday's meeting at a Bangkok hotel as members of Palang Pracharath (power of the people of state) Party headed by today's Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana as party leader and Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong as party secretary general.
Two other members of the current cabinet have earlier joined the pro-Prayut party, namely Science and Technology Minister Suvit Maesincee and Prime Minister's Office Minister Kobsak Pootrakul.
Suriya and Somsak have quietly joined hands with today's Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, who had been another member of the previous Thaksin cabinets, to form the so-called Three Friends Group which has been instrumental in the recruiting of veteran politicians into the Palang Pracharath camp.
Nonetheless, Suriya and Somsak declined to either confirm or deny speculation in the Thai media that they have planned over the last several months to help Prayut retain his premiership following the general election, tentatively scheduled for February 24, 2019.