PPRP affirms support for Prayut as PM pick

Prayut: Popular in the South
Prayut: Popular in the South

The Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) is downplaying remarks by a party member who suggested Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha should step aside and let PPRP leader Prawit Wongsuwon run in the next election as the party’s sole prime ministerial candidate.

Responding to remarks made by Rong Boonsuayfan, a PPRP MP for Nakhon Si Thammarat, Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, a PPRP deputy leader and Minister of Digital Economy and Society, said the party has not talked about replacing Gen Prayut with Gen Prawit as the party’s candidate.

Mr Rong suggested recently that there is no more reason for the party to field Gen Prayut as its PM candidate, and that Gen Prawit should step up to the plate. Gen Prayut can serve as PM until 2025, according to a recent court ruling, which means he would have to step down during the next term.

Mr Chaiwut said the PPRP remains committed to supporting Gen Prayut in his current role as prime minister and defence minister, as well as his efforts to move the country forward for the benefit of the people.

He also said Gen Prayut has a crucial role to play in the PPRP’s success at the next election.

The next general election is tentatively set for May 7 next year.

“Let’s not discuss politics now. We should spend the remaining time that we have before the polls working for the people,” he said.

While the PPRP-led government has made significant progress in several major infrastructure projects, two years of the Covid-19 pandemic has left many Thais living under difficult financial circumstances, which has only been compounded by the inflation crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Despite the odds, the PPRP remains united,” he said, before saying the party will reveal its list of candidates that it will field in the South on Thursday.

Mr Rong has since backtracked on his remark, saying that handing the PPRP’s prime ministerial candidacy to Gen Prawit could help sustain the party during the election.

Separately, the National Institute of Development Administration on Sunday released its latest opinion survey, also known as the Nida Poll, which showed Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha as the most popular choice for the post of prime minister for voters in the southern region, followed by Paetongtarn “Ung-ing” Shinawatra of the Pheu Thai Party.

The poll was carried out on Oct 17-20 among 2,001 voters aged 18 and over, of various levels of education, occupations and incomes, across the southern provinces to compile their opinions on “the right man and right party for southerners”.

Asked who they would support for the post of prime minister today, about 23% of respondents opted for Gen Prayut; 13% for Ms Paetongtarn of the Pheu Thai Party; 12% for no one; and 11% Pita Limjaroenrat of the Move Forward Party. Asked from which party they would vote for an MP in the constituency system, about 27% of respondents said they would go for the Democrat Party; 14% for Pheu Thai Party; 12% for the Palang Pracharath Party; 12% undecided; 11% for Move Forward Party; and 7.45% for the Bhumjaithai Party.

Asked from which party they would vote for MPs in the party-list system, about 27% said they would choose the Democrat Party; 15% the Pheu Thai Party; 12% undecided; 12% the Move Forward Party; 11% the Palang Pracharath Party; and 6% the Bhumjaithai Party.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew said if the PPRP’s prime ministerial candidacy was shifted to Gen Prawit, it would give the Pheu Thai Party an advantage in the upcoming polls as voters would turn away from the ruling party.

Article source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/politics/2421061/pprp-affirms-support-for-prayut-as-pm-pick