Prawit insists it's not time to go yet

Prawit insists it's not time to go yet

Gen Prawit: Not found guilty, so he won't step down. (File photo)
Gen Prawit: Not found guilty, so he won't step down. (File photo)

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon on Thursday brushed aside former National Reform Council (NRC) member and human rights activist Thicha Nanakorn's call for his resignation over his luxury watch scandal.

Gen Prawit, also defence minister, insisted he would not step down from his post until the National Anti-Corruption Commission's (NACC) probe found he was guilty.

"I have not been found guilty yet. Just wait for the NACC to say there are grounds," he said Thursday.

Gen Prawit commented after Ms Thicha on Wednesday led a fresh call for the NACC to lift the lid on its long-delayed investigation into the luxury watch scandal involving Gen Prawit.

She also called on him to resign as he had pledged to do earlier. She also wanted the NACC to speed up its probe into the 25 luxury watches with a combined value of over 39 million baht, which have been seen worn by Gen Prawit.

Gen Prawit told reporters he has no intention of resigning over the watch dispute. This video (Thai language) was captured by Bangkok Post military correspondent Wassana Nanuam.

On Feb 16, Ms Thicha lodged a petition with 80,018 signatures from an online campaign on Change.org calling for Gen Prawit's resignation to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha via an official at Government House's public service centre.

She initiated the online petition on Jan 31 after Gen Prawit told the media that he was ready to resign if people do not want him.

Responding to Gen Prawit's indifference Thursday, Ms Thicha said Gen Prawit mentioned his resignation on Jan 31.

She also reprimanded Gen Prawit, saying she did not see good governance in Gen Prawit's acts, ranging from his failing to declare all assets to his action on the death of cadet Pakapong Tanyakan at the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School in October last year.

When the petition with those names was submitted, this implied people did not want Gen Prawit to remain in his post.

Gen Prawit said he would wait for the NACC's probe which meant he was trying to buy time, she said.

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