Prayut regime to stay in power 'until Apec meet'

Prayut regime to stay in power 'until Apec meet'

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is unlikely to dissolve the House before the upcoming Apec summit, politicians from both the opposition and the government coalition said at a seminar yesterday.

At a forum titled "Dinner Talk: Thailand Future 2022", hosted by the Nation Group, six politicians were asked if they thought the government will keep its current shape through to when the Apec summit takes place at the end of the year.

Varawut Silpa-archa, chairman of the Chartthaipattana Party's policy and strategy committee, said when the current government was formed in July 2019, it was said that the administration wouldn't last more than six months, given the weak bonds between the coalition parties.

However, he said, the government has managed to stay in power for three years, and it plans to do so until its mandate expires on March 24, 2023.

Jurin Laksanawisit, leader of the Democrat Party, said so far there are no signals indicating the government, as it stands, won't be able to survive before then.

"It's not just about the coalition parties holding hands tightly," he said before adding the administration needs to make good use of the coalition's stable prospects to better serve the country.

"We need tangible actions and practical solutions which can help us solve social problems. There are many things that we've succeeded in, but at the same time, other issues take some time to resolve," he said.

Sirikanya Tansakun, the Move Forward Party deputy leader, said once the government's popularity and legitimacy drops to a certain level, its leaders should have the conscience to dissolve the administration or dismiss the prime minister.

However, she said as long as nothing extraordinary happens, the government will survive until the Apec summit.

Meanwhile, Kla Party leader Korn Chatikavanij said that since his party is not in parliament he doesn't have an insight into whether the government will survive beyond the end of the year.

"But if the government decides to stay, I think the most important issue will be finding solutions to the economic crisis because people are facing hardship," he added.

Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, the Thai Srang Thai Party leader, said the government will likely stay on until the Apec event, before dissolving parliament at a later date.

"They would stay beyond Apec to spend money ineffectively again via populist schemes. Besides, they want to use their power to benefit their own people. They will dissolve the House before completing the term," she explained.

Uttama Savanayana, the Srang Anakot Thai Party founder, said the leader of the government has the power to decide whether to dissolve parliament.

"It depends on the premier. If the government survives but people are dying, we will have to seriously consider the government's future," he said.

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