PM shrugs off talk of Pheu Thai 'landslide'
published : 25 Mar 2023 at 06:11
newspaper section: News
writer: Mongkol Bangprapa
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Friday shrugged off the Pheu Thai Party's aim to pull off a landslide victory in the general election, saying every party has targets and ambitions, but it is up to voters to decide.
"I won't talk about if it is a landslide or not. I'd like people to think carefully about how they want the country to be," he said. "Don't we need a trustworthy government? A government that tends to low-income earners and vulnerable groups as we've begun?"
Gen Prayut said political parties are touting welfare assistance schemes, but such policies could disrupt the country's financial and fiscal discipline if implemented without careful consideration.
He also said while Thailand's economic situation is improving, the global economy remains volatile, and the country must be prepared to deal with any problems.
Asked about the prospect of Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith joining the United Thai Nation Party (UTN), he said the matter would be discussed in the future.
Gen Prayut, who is the UTN's presumptive prime minister, said he has not decided if he will contest the party-list system amid speculation that he will be the first candidate on the list. Gen Prayut is not constitutionally required to contest the elections.
He said he will participate in the party's campaign rallies more after the UTN unveils its prime ministerial candidates -- scheduled to be announced today -- and he will take a leave from government duties to do party work.
Gen Prayut said there is no need for him to meet any political groups when asked about a meeting between protest leader Patsaravalee 'Mind' Tanakitvibulpon and Palang Pracharath Party leader Prawit Wongsuwon.
"It depends on what we'll get from a meeting. If it is purely for political purposes, there is no need for me to meet anyone," he said when asked if it was possible for him to have a similar meeting.
Gen Prayut also said people who did not break the laws should not worry about amnesty, adding the issue should not be raised in election campaigns to avoid reigniting a new round of conflict.
Ms Patsaravalee reportedly asked Gen Prawit about amnesty after the PPRP leader said earlier that he could do better than others in promoting national reconciliation.