February 27, 2023
BANGKOK – A news report saying he flew to Hong Kong to consult with Thaksin is false, Phumtham wrote in a Facebook post.
He said a health condition prevents him from flying. Moreover, party-list candidates are selected by the party’s executive board, Phumtham said.
He cannot even travel to a province, let alone Hong Kong, he wrote, explaining: “I can’t make a foreign trip or a provincial trip because I received a kidney transplant in late 2022.”
“After the surgery, I had to recover alone in a sanitized room for 45 days. Although my body is recovering, doctors advised me to refrain from travelling and to avoid crowded areas until late March,” Phumtham said.
The selection of party-list candidates is the responsibility of the party leader, the party secretary-general, and party executives, he added.
The selection process starts at Pheu Thai branches, where party executives and other members nominate a candidate in accordance with the Political Parties Act. Subsequently, the executive board will approve the final 100 candidates for the party-list vote, Phumtham said.
Although Thaksin has been living in self-imposed exile, he is regarded as having immense influence on Pheu Thai, which is an offshoot of his first political party, Thai Rak Thai, and its subsequent incarnation: the People’s Power Party.
Thaksin is widely regarded as the de facto leader of the Pheu Thai, which plans to nominate his youngest daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, as its prime minister candidate.