Political party

Thai PM denies jumping ship to join another political party

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday dismissed claims he was about to jump ship and join another political party.

The past few weeks have been tumultuous for the leader of the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP). The Prime Minister survived the no-confidence debate and a no-confidence vote just over a week ago, while political activists this week called on the 68-year-old to ‘follow the law’ and resign when his term expires on August 24. The date marks two consecutive terms as PM. The Thai Constitution stipulates that a prime minister can only serve two terms and a maximum of eight years.

According to rumors circulating in Parliament, the Thai supremo is going to join the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party. As the saying goes “There is no smoke without fire”. But Thailand’s prime minister has denied that the new political party Ruam Thai Sang Chart has approached him to be its leader in next year’s upcoming elections.

“Well, the party has its own policies. I have nothing to do with it. It’s just another emerging party.

“I only expect all parties to work together for the sake of the country’s peace and prosperity. I offer my moral support to all parties.

Speculation has grown that the PM is set to join the party on the back of him using the term “Ruam Thai Sang Chart” (Uniting Thais to Build the Nation), which he has repeatedly said in the past.

“They used the term to name their party. I didn’t tell them to do it and I’m not the leader.

“I still stay with the PPRP, don’t I? Where do you want me to go? The party supported me to become prime minister, didn’t they?

“I remain with the PPRP in the next elections. I always keep my word.

Ruam Thai Sang Chart was founded by Seksakol Atthawong, a former Prime Minister’s aide.

The party gained national attention last year. Political observers believe it was set up as an alternative to the PPRP, in case the ruling party runs into legal problems.

A number of high-level politicians have joined the party, including General Prayut’s adviser, Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, who was a former Democrat and PPRP member, former Democrat politician Akanat Prompan and former General Secretary of the Coalition of action for Thailand, Duangrit Benjathikul Chairungruang.

Pirapan reportedly applied to join the party on July 28 while Akanat and Duangrit signed up on Monday.

THE SOURCE: Bangkok Post