Prayut shuns Thirayuth's criticisms
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday gave the cold shoulder to social critic Thirayuth Boonmi, who suggested the current administration is running the country in the same style as deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra's government did.
"This is a matter for him [Mr Thirayuth]. He has been making comments for 40 years," said Gen Prayut.
"Please look at the methods of this government and those of Thaksin's and determine whether they are different," said Gen Prayut. "Look into them. Don't put old thoughts into heads."
He went on to say he paid little attention to the academic's jibes, while pointing out that if the Thaksin administration had performed well, the country would not have experienced the troubles it faces today.
Mr Thirayuth, who made remarks about Thai politics in a speech at the Oct 14 Memorial on Monday, pointed out that the regime is using populist schemes, similar to those the Thaksin administration implemented before the 2001 poll.
The academic also noted the regime intends to cling to power for a long time and this desire was clear based on the current charter, drawn up by the Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC), chaired by Meechai Ruchupan. He also predicted it is highly likely that Gen Prayut would return as the premier after the poll, expected to take place on Feb 24.
Meanwhile, Chaturon Chaisang, a leading figure in the Thai Raksa Chart Party, said Mr Thirayuth's remarks appear to suggest that people have to accept the fact that Gen Prayut would be in office for a lengthy period.
"Although Gen Prayut would have the upper hand on all the rules, when people have the power to cast ballots and are ready to join together, they may stop Gen Prayut from prolonging his power," said Mr Chaturon. "Mr Thirayuth avoided mentioning this."
He also disagreed with the comment that the Prayut administration is pursuing programmes to court public support in the same way the Thaksin administration did.
"Mr Thirayuth's remarks were aimed at covering up the wicked things from budget-spending projects used to try to woo public support today," said Mr Chaturon.