PPRP to invite Prayut on its poll ticket
The Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) has said it will soon invite Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to become the prime ministerial candidate on its ticket.
Science and Technology Minister Suvit Maesincee who concurrently serves as PPRP deputy leader, made the remark on Thursday, saying it is time to invite Gen Prayut after the ban on political activities was lifted on Tuesday. So far, the party had not raised the matter with Gen Prayut, Mr Suvit said.
The PPRP has made it clear it will support Gen Prayut to reclaim the premiership after the poll, should he desire. Mr Suvit insisted that he and the other three cabinet ministers who are at the helm of the PPRP will not use their positions and state resources to benefit the party.
The PPRP consists of Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana as its leader, Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong as its secretary-general, while PM's Office Minister Kobsak Pootrakool is the party's spokesman.
They will resign as cabinet ministers ''when the time comes'', Mr Suvit said, adding the party was now ready to begin election campaigns as soon as a royal decree calling for the election of MPs comes into effect on Jan 2. Mr Suvit said the party will continue several policies initiated by the current government, such as the state welfare card scheme, which currently has about 11.4 million holders.
During his visit to Bung Kan on Wednesday, Gen Prayut hinted he may be ready to return as premier after the poll. Previously, he had also hinted the PPRP may be his preferred choice if he decides to become a prime ministerial candidate on a party ticket. He said he would naturally support any party with policies in line with those of the regime.
Chaturon Chaisang, chairman of the Thai Raksa Chart Party's strategy committee, said that when Gen Prayut declares he is a full-time politician, the government should assume the role of an interim government.
The government should hand over the power to handle key issues, such as budget allocations for major projects and transfers of government officials to the Election Commission (EC), Mr Chaturon said. He also called on Gen Prayut to stop exercising his power under Section 44 in a way that will interfere with the EC's work, particularly in organising the election.