PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha today (Nov.8) made equivocal remarks in effort to downplay a sustained tension between Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan and himself.
During a weekly cabinet meeting at Government House, Prayut told cabinet members to “take it easy” for the time being and to see to it that the Apec meetings, scheduled between Nov.14 and Nov.19, will proceed smoothly.
“There’s nothing about Bro Pom. Nothing serious. No dispute at all. Our brotherly relations will never end,” Prayut told the bewildered cabinet members, referring to Prawit whom he called by nickname.
At one instance, Prayut mentioned certain deputy premiers-cum-party leaders by name including Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul and Democrat Party leader Jurin Laksanavisit amidst reported tension between the both of them over a contentious free-marijuana legislation. Without elaborating, Prayut said he understood everyone else among the cabinet members.
Shortly before today’s cabinet meeting began, Prayut and Prawit had held some private talk at Government House in a tension-filled atmosphere.
His comments made in the middle of the cabinet meeting room were apparently meant to dampen hearsay that he might possibly turn to join ranks with the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party instead of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party which had landed him the unelected premiership after the 2019 general election.
The brand-new Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party, headed by ex-Democrat MP Pirapan Salirathawipak, who concurrently acts as an adviser to the premier, was alleged to have been particularly set up as a “party in reserve” for Prayut in case that he be not named a top contender for prime minister under the Palang Pracharath banners in the next general election.
Prawit has earlier commented that he would not mind if Prayut or some Palang Pracharath MPs may finally go party-hopping and run under the tickets of any party other than his own.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, right, and Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwan, left. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Matichon