By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha has finally confirmed that he is seeking to run the country for two more years after the next general election.
Prayut told reporters at Government House today (Dec.6) that he will seek to prolong his rule for two more years as earlier allowed by court but stopped short of either confirming or denying that he may contest the nationwide election under the tickets of the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party.
The current premier who has risen to power by way of the 2014 coup which he orchestrated as army chief is largely speculated to opt out of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party where he would otherwise be named a No.2 contestant for head of a post-election government with party boss Prawit Wongsuwan being tipped to take the No.1 spot.
“Given a two-year time, I will do everything to the best of my ability and then be succeeded by a new prime minister who will be suitable and acceptable to the people,” Prayut said.
Without elaborating, Prayut said the time to contemplate dissolving the House of Representatives and subsequently calling a general election has not dawned on him as yet.
The coup leader-turned-premier is not expected to dissolve the House until around the middle of March, thus keeping any MPs who may have planned to hop over from one party to another on edge.
If the House is dissolved at any time ahead of March 24, the date on which a four-year term of the legislative branch is scheduled to end, the nationwide election will be held within 60 days ahead of the election date with all MPs being legally obliged to have already been registered to a contesting party for a minimum of 30 days.
But if the House fully consumes its four-year term without being dissolved by the premier, the nationwide election will be held in 45 days ahead of the election date with all MPs being legally required to have already been attached to a contesting party for a minimum of 90 days.
Prayut has apparently been dragging his feet in anticipation of more “renegade” MPs to finally hop over to the brand-new party which has been reportedly designed to name him a sole partisan candidate for prime minister after the general election.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Matichon