By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha today (June 7) downplayed hearsay that he would sooner or later become top leader of Palang Pracharath Party in place of its current leader, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan.
Prayut told reporters at Government House he had never heard of such rumours until today that he would be given the top post at the largest coalition party in the next few months in place of Prawit, the current party leader who will become chairman of its advisory board.
The premier commented that such a possible partisan movement had not dawned on him and that he could not say for the time being how his political future might shape up after the next general election.
“I haven’t thought much about that. I only thought of how to carry on this government until the end of its term. My future is another matter which might depend on the people,” Prayut said, referring to the Palang Pracharath-led coalition government whose four-year elected term is scheduled to end by next March.
Prayut earlier made it known to the public that he intended to prolong his rule for another five years now that he has run the country as an unelected head of government for eight years so far, following the 2014 coup which he orchestrated as army chief.
However, the Constitutional Court will very likely determine whether Prayut will have already finished a maximum of eight years in power as provided by law by the upcoming August.
In the meantime, a fresh censure/no-confidence motion is expected to be lodged by the Pheu Thai-led opposition bloc against Prayut and other cabinet members next week with the House floor being taken for the major grilling session to be closely followed by a vote of confidence versus a vote of no-confidence early next month.
Prayut made his comments today in response to unconfirmed reports that Prawit and he himself have mutually agreed to the extent that the former leave the top Palang Pracharath leadership to the latter who would be registered as member of the largest coalition party and contest the next election with the goal of retaining his premiership.
Prawit who has invariably pledged his unwavering support for Prayut as premier was earlier said to have contemplated taking the helm of the Palang Pracharath-led coalition government in place of Prayut, regardless of the deputy premier’s repeated vows to never rise to premiership under any circumstances.
According to a partisan source in Prawit’s camp, Prayut has been suggested to take charge of Palang Pracharath Party after the Constitutional Court’s ruling on his eight-year tenure has been delivered, probably in August.
The pro-Prayut factions among the rank and file of Palang Pracharath Party have recommended that Prayut steer the party’s electoral campaigns nationwide if he wished to prolong his rule beyond the next race to parliament since Prawit might probably fail to get enough MPs to successfully name him as candidate for head of a post-election government. Palang Pracharath Party had successfully named Prayut as its sole candidate for head of government following the 2019 election.
Last month’s landslide victory of Chadchart Sittipunt as elected Bangkok governor has considerably sent the rank and file of Palang Pracharath Party reeling in fear of decisive defeats to Pheu Thai Party and Move Forward Party in the next election for MPs of Bangkok and those in the provinces and fueling sentiment that Prayut might probably be a better choice of partisan leadership than Prawit.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, left, and Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, right, with a meeting of the House of Representatives in the background. Photo: Korea and Thailand Information and Community Web Magazine
Home Page: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Photo: Naewna