Prayut's classmates keen on new political party

Prayut's classmates keen on new political party

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha attends a ceremony at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy in Nakhon Nayok province early this month to celebrate the military school’s 129th anniversary. A national reform councillor said Gen Prayut's classmates had discussed with him the establishment of a new political party. (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha attends a ceremony at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy in Nakhon Nayok province early this month to celebrate the military school’s 129th anniversary. A national reform councillor said Gen Prayut's classmates had discussed with him the establishment of a new political party. (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)

Some of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's classmates have sought advice on the establishment of a new political party under new rules, according to a reform councillor.

Sompong Sakawee, head of the political party reform sub-committee of the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA), revealed on Tuesday that some classmates of Gen Prayut's at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, who are also NRSA members, had asked him how to set up a political party in line with the new constitution and NRSA's proposals on political party reform.

"I told them a new political party will no longer belong to a rich man like before. It will be owned by its members and membership fees will be collected," he said.

If the PM is to set up a political party, it should be different from existing parties. It must not be backed by a wealthy man or mobilise MPs.

If Gen Prayut intended to form a political party, Mr Sompong said he believed there would be supporters and if there are 4-5 million members, the party can be set up.  

Seree Suwanpanont, head of the NRSA's political reform committee, said his panel was studying fair elections, political party reform, and political participation of party members.

Members of existing political parties might have to confirm their memberships or be allowed to move to a new party so that political parties would belong to the people, not wealthy men, he said.

The idea of forming a political party that supports Gen Prayut as prime minister has been floated after he told reporters last week he might become a prime minister in the future, but only through a "dignified means".


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