Chaiwut rejects military party claims

Chaiwut rejects military party claims

More former officers become PPRP execs

Deputy Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) leader Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn has refuted criticism that the ruling party will become a military party after two former senior military officers were elected as part of its executive committee.

On Sunday, the PPRP held a general assembly in Nakhon Ratchasima to elect new executive committee members.

Deputy Prime Minister and PPRP leader Prawit Wongsuwon remains party leader while Deputy Finance Minister Santi Promphat was elected as the party's secretary-general after serving in an acting capacity following the expulsion of Capt Thamanat Prompow in January.

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin was also named as the PPRP's director while four new executive committee members were also elected: Gen Krisyothin Sasipattanawong, former staff officer to Gen Prawit; Gen Thanya Kiatisarn, former 2nd Army commander; and party-list MPs Wichian Chawalit and Pornchai Trakoonvaranond.

Mr Chaiwut, who serves as Digital Economy and Society Minister, said the two former senior military officers have close ties with Gen Prawit and they will help the PPRP leader coordinate the party's work.

Mr Chaiwut dismissed criticism that this will lead to the PPRP being viewed as a military party, and said that the party belongs to the people and is made up of members from varied professions and backgrounds. He said the experience of new executive committee members will help strengthen the PPRP and the party's popularity will improve if it can implement its policies for the benefit of the people.

Speaking after Sunday's meeting, Mr Santi revealed Gen Prawit has set a goal of winning at least 150 seats at the next general election.

Commenting on the issue, Mr Chaiwut said yesterday that capturing 150 seats has long been the party's goal for the next election and if the PPRP achieves poll success, it will be able to carry on with its policies.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul said yesterday he did not believe in striking deals with political parties in advance of the polls to form a coalition government because they may not be honoured in the end.

"We have already learned a lesson. After the [previous] election, things went wrong and it [the deal to form a coalition government] became meaningless. Therefore, we must rely on ourselves and do our best," said Mr Anutin.

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