By Thai Newsroom Reporters
AT LAST PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha has fully become a politician with reported intent to retain power beyond the next general election.
Prayut today (Jan.9) applied himself for membership of the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party which has reportedly planned to send him vying for head of post-election government.
At Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, Prayut was registered as Ruam Thai Sang Chart partisan member for life and paid 2,000 baht in cash fee for it.
Prayut who has been earlier allowed by court to prolong his rule for two more years after the general election told the audience he had never been more “bashful and excited” in his life than at today’s event in which he was eagerly welcomed by the Ruam Thai Sang Chart rank and file.
Prayut said he has never been a member of any political party until now and only been accustomed to the military career in which he had risen to the post of army chief.
In 2014, the then-army chief Prayut staged a coup and named himself head of a military-installed government and then in 2019 was successfully named head of a Palang Pracharath-led coalition government.
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen how many current and former MPs will finally jump onto the pro-Prayut party’s bandwagon and contest the nationwide election under its tickets.
A contesting party is legally obliged to get a minimum of 5% of all 500 MPs, accounting for 25, to eligibly name a partisan contender for prime minister after the general election.
Those who may have contemplated hopping over from their current parties to the pro-Prayut camp currently have time to think it over until February 6 in case that Prayut decides to live out the House of Representatives’ four-year term scheduled to end in late March, thus enforcing them to have been registered as a partisan member for a minimum of 90 days prior to the election date, scheduled for mid-May.
But the lawmakers will be given more time beyond the early part of next month to switch parties if Prayut dissolves the House in the meantime, thus being legally obliged to have been attached to a contesting party for a minimum of 30 days ahead of the election date.
Largely speculated to join ranks in the pro-Prayut party are current and former Palang Pracharath and Democrat MPs mostly representing southern constituencies, among others.
The function at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre where Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha registered as Ruam Thai Sang Chart partisan member for life. Photos: Thai Rath