The Palang Pracharath Party on Wednesday revealed three candidates for prime minister after the election -- one of them Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who will be approached to take up the offer.
The other two choices were party leader Uttama Savanayana and Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.
The three received unanimous approval in the party meeting, fulfilling expectations ever since the party was formed.
Party secretary-general Sontirat Sontijirawong said the party had yet to decide which of the three candidates would be on top of the list. Gen Prayut and Mr Somkid will be invited to accept the offer by the deadline for all parties to submit their lists of PM candidates on Feb 8, he said.
Mr Sontirat denied that proposing Gen Prayut as prime minister was an attempt to extend the power of the junta beyond the election. PPRP was founded in line with the democratic process and was not the political party of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), he said.
Mr Uttama was the NCPO's industry minister and Mr Sontirat was in charge of commerce. They were key figures, together with former science and technology minister Suvit Maesincee and former PM’s office minister Kobsak Pootrakool, in the formation of Palang Pracharath.
The four tendered their resignations to Gen Prayut on Tuesday, and they took effect on Wednesday.
Gen Prayut said after opening the Our Country, Our Future forum that he has not yet been invited by any political party to run for the prime minister's post after the poll.
The junta leader said he was not worried about becoming a political target if he decides to represent a party. "I am not afraid of being attacked by other politicians. If I did, I would have felt that way since May 22, 2014," he said.
Gen Prayut seized power from the Pheu Thai Party-led government when he was the army commander following a series of street rallies and political violence.