PPRP shares its election manifesto
Focus on welfare, society and economy
The pro-regime Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) unveiled its election manifesto on Thursday in which it focuses on welfare, society and the economy.
Party leader Uttama Savanayana said the PPRP's policies are aimed at narrowing the inequality gap, relieving burdens faced by low-income groups and ensuring a strong economy.
"Our policies focus on three key areas -- welfare, society and economy -- and each area contains seven sub-policies, so we call it the 7:7:7 policy," he said.
On welfare, Mr Uttama said if his party is elected, the current welfare card project for the poor and one-million-unit housing project would be continued. Moreover, the beneficiaries would not only be limited to the poor but would be extended to other groups such as the elderly, disabled, pregnant women and low-wage workers.
"The grey population in Thailand is growing fast, so we will create a housing scheme for the elderly to ensure that they have a place to live after retirement," he said.
Mr Uttama said his party would also help ease the debt problem among civil servants, teachers, students, farmers and small to medium enterprises, as well as establish a community water fund and allocate plots of land to landless farmers so they can make a living.
On social policies, Mr Uttama said his party would increase investment in education at all levels to better prepare Thais for the 21st century from a young age. It would also create more urban areas outside of Bangkok to spread prosperity and resources to other regions.
PPRP deputy leader Suvit Maesincee said the party would use the current government's Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) as a model to develop special economic zones in each region.
"If we win the election, there would be economic zones in different regions similar to the EEC in the East. It would be called Isan 4.0 in the Northeast, Lanna 4.0 in the North and Damkwan [axe handle] 4.0 in the South," he said.
On the economy, Mr Suvit said his party aims to upgrade 5 million SMEs to become smart SMEs and 1 million farmers to become smart farmers by introducing them to advanced technologies like AI and robotics.
Mr Suvit said the party would also promote sustainable tourism, innovation and the green economy.
The PPRP leaders did not reveal how their party would finance all these projects, saying that the party would inform voters of the details later.
When asked whether Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha will be on the PPRP's prime ministerial nomination list, Mr Uttama said his party has not approached anyone and asserted that when the time comes, the PPRP will pick the best of the bunch.
Mr Uttama said the PPRP will announce the names of its prime ministerial nominees on the same day it announces the names of its 350 MP candidates around Feb 4-8.
He also said that when the time was right, the four cabinet ministers, including himself, who are now PPRP executives will resign from their ministerial posts to avoid a potential conflict of interest in the lead-up to the election.