Prayut to rally in Chumphon

Prayut to rally in Chumphon

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will speak on a pre-election campaign stage for the first time as a member of the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party in Chumphon on Jan 28, a source in the party said.

Chumphon has been chosen to debut Gen Prayut as the party's campaign speaker because the province is one of the UTN's strongest areas.

The province with three constituencies represented is where party member Chumpol Julsai, a former MP, and his siblings wield extensive political dominance.

The UTN earlier unveiled Supol Julsai, Mr Chumpol's older brother and a former MP of the Action Coalition Party, as its potential candidate for the next election scheduled for May 7. The UTN has set its sights on making a clean sweep in Chumphon, according to the source.

The source added Gen Prayut planned to speak on a Saturday, as the law allows such figures to help political parties canvass for votes at weekends.

Gen Prayut will fly to Chumphon on a commercial flight, where he is due to arrive at 8.45am before speaking on stage outside the Muang district town hall at 10am. After that, the premier will catch a commercial flight back to Bangkok from neighbouring Surat Thani.

Gen Prayut is scheduled to conduct official tours in Nakhon Sawan and Phichit on Jan 30.

Yesterday, the prime minister visited Ratchaburi, where he inspected progress in community-based and cultural tourism projects in Muang district. There to welcome him were Kecha Saksomboon, who is a UTN executive, and Kulwadee Nop-amornwadee, a ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) MP for Ratchaburi.

Earlier this week, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who is also the PPRP leader, went to Ratchaburi reportedly to convince some party MPs to abandon any plans they might have of defecting to the UTN.

Meanwhile, UTN leader Pirapan Salirathavibhaga yesterday downplayed Gen Prawit's visits to some provinces, which critics construed as an attempt to undercut the UTN.

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