Prawit won't resign, to stay on in 'national interest'

Prawit won't resign, to stay on in 'national interest'

Gen Prawit Wongsuwon reveals the luxury watch and diamond ring that sparked public criticism and a probe into undeclared assets as he blocks sunlight from his face at Government House in December. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Gen Prawit Wongsuwon reveals the luxury watch and diamond ring that sparked public criticism and a probe into undeclared assets as he blocks sunlight from his face at Government House in December. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon does not plan to resign and is determined to continue working in the interests of national security and public safety, the spokesman for the Defence Ministry said on Monday.

The statement came in the face of many calls for Gen Prawit, who is also defence minister, to resign from the government over the luxury watches affair.

Spokesman Lt Gen Kongcheep Tantrawanit said Gen Prawit was healthy and of good morale, and he would continue to devote himself to his role as the key figure in ensuring national security and the safety of society.

All sides in a democratic society had to listen to the opinions of others, but reason-based calmness would enable people under fire to pull through a difficult situation, Lt Gen Kongcheep said.

Gen Prawit is attending the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting in Singapore from Monday to Wednesday, when he is due back in Bangkok for a meeting with Joseph Dunford Jr, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff at the Defence Ministry, the spokesman said.

He also said the armed forces remained united.

On Monday, activist Ekachai Hongkangwan went to the Defence Ministry to present results of opinion surveys he said showed people wanted the deputy prime minister to stand down. He pointed out that Gen Prawit had said he would resign if people did not want him to remain in office. 

Officials at the Defence Ministry accepted the documents from Mr Ekachai.

A total of 25 timepieces worth an estimated 39.5 million baht have been spotted on Gen Prawit's wrist in photos that appeared on the popular CSI-LA Facebook page. None of them were listed in his declaration of assets on taking office. He has claimed they all belonged to friends, were on loan to him, and have since been returned.  


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