By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PRIME MINISTER PRAYUT Chan-o-cha today (Jan.25) immediately lost his head when asked to respond to comments made last night by his deposed predecessor Thaksin Shinawatra about the next general election.
At one point during a press conference at the National Police headquarters, Prayut was obviously frustrated at a reporter’s call for him to respond to Thaksin’s comments made via a live podcast that the current prime minister would not dissolve the House of Representatives anytime soon due to the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party’s unfinished preparations to set up its provincial branches nationwide as required by law for their planned contest in the general election.
“Don’t mention that person. I just don’t like it,” irritable Prayut told the reporters and quickly walked away toward a waiting motorcade. Without mentioning Thaksin by name, Prayut referred to the deposed premier who has been looking to return home after 16 years in self-exile overseas.
Prayut who is running for head of a post-election government under the Ruam Thai Sang Chart tickets is largely believed to not dissolve the House which would be followed by the general election in 60 days until a week or two before its four-year term would be otherwise fully consumed on March 23.
Thaksin has earlier forecast the Pheu Thai Party of which he is largely viewed as de facto boss will score a landslide victory in the nationwide election and subsequently spearhead the setting up of a coalition government after which he could potentially return home at a later date.
Without elaborating, Thaksin repeatedly said his daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra who will almost certainly be named among a trio of Pheu Thai partisan contestants for prime minister will announce to the public the time of his long-awaited return to Bangkok.
Nevertheless, Prayut has earlier dared Thaksin to come back home sooner than later so he could probably fight lawsuits earlier filed against him in court. In his absentia, Thaksin has already been sentenced by court to a dozen years in jail on several counts of misconduct in office.
Top and Front Page: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, left, and former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, right. Both photos: Thai Rath