Ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra is the winner of the military coup and Pheu Thai Party will end up winning the next general election, former deputy PM Chalerm Yoobamrung has told party colleagues close to him.
Chalerm said Thaksin and Pheu Thai reaped the most from the coup led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha because no corruption charges had been pressed against members of the ousted government led by Thaksin's sister Yingluck, a Pheu Thai source revealed yesterday.
This was exacerbated by the fact that the military rulers had also not branded her government as disloyal to the monarchy, Chalerm said.
"The Democrats and the People's Democratic Reform Committee are the ones coughing blood and gained nothing," he was quoted as saying. "Thaksin seems to be happiest. Because of the coup, Thaksin must reward Prayut with 12 cartons of Petrus [a pricey wine].
"Once the election is held, Thaksin's name will continue to be sellable in the North and Northeast, except if the military-installed government can solve the economic problems of rural people. If that happens, Pheu Thai's chances of an easy win will have to be re-evaluated."
However, Chalerm believes there are only two scenarios that could lead to a Pheu Thai defeat: Thaksin dies or quits politics.
"If either of these two scenarios do not happen, Pheu Thai will always win any general election," he said.
He ruled out the possibility that Prayut would fulfil the wishes of Pheu Thai's rivals by writing a charter that sabotaged the Thaksin camp.
"Prayut is not stupid enough to do such a thing because one day he has to step down and continue living in the country. It is unlikely he would do anything which brings negative consequences onto himself."
Chalerm said the controversial "blanket amnesty" brought an end to the Yingluck government because it provided the PDRC with a valid reason to overthrow the government.