By Thai Newsroom Reporters
PALANG PRACHARATH LEADER Prawit Wongsuwan today (Aug.31) declared his own home inside army barracks closed to politically-minded visitors for good after a decade and a half of use for power plays.
Prawit told reporters his home, inaptly named “Baan Pa Roy Tor Ha Chang Wat” located in the premises of the First Infantry Regiment, has been permanently closed for anyone who might otherwise come over for any political activity and that he will concentrate more than ever on the activity of his foundation named Five Provinces Bordering Forest Preservation Foundation from now.
Five Provinces Bordering Forest Preservation Foundation was originally designed to help the authorities look after lush forests straddling rough terrains of the five eastern provinces where the likes of Prawit were in charge as regiment and division commanders attached to the so-called Burapa Payak army barracks.
The Palang Pracharath leader made comments about his “now-non-political” home inside the army barracks on Vibhavadi Rangsit road amidst speculation that he will shortly resign as MP and be replaced with either Santi Prompat or Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn, both of whom had contested the May 14 election in party-listed mode but were not elected whilst he himself had run in vain for prime minister.
Nevertheless, Prawit will likely hold onto the partisan leadership though he may practically back off from power plays in which he has usually been involved over the last decade.
Though the Palang Pracharath leader has not taken a ministerial seat in the Pheu Thai-led coalition government, he has had his brother/former police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan named natural resources & environment minister, among three other Palang Pracharath members who have also grabbed cabinet seats.
Since the setup of a military-installed government under former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva which occurred at Prawit’s home inside the premises of the First Infantry Regiment in 2008 until recently, power plays which had not only involved civilian politicians but politically-minded army generals, either retired and active, have occasionally taken place in hush-hush fashion over there.
Prawit had not only been allowed to open his private office but to reside in a nearby house in the premises of the First Infantry Regiment, given his previous status as army chief.
De facto Ruam Thai Sang Chart boss/caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and caretaker interior minister Anupong Paojinda have also been enjoying similar privileges to date, given the same previous status as army chief.
Though Prawit categorically denied any involvement in the 2014 coup staged by Prayut, he has been invariably viewed by members of the public as more or less supportive of it since he had been given a significant ministerial seat in a post-coup, military-installed government and then a Palang Pracharath-led coalition government following the 2019 election.
Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan. Top photo: INN News, Front Page photo: Thai Rath