Prayut denies he is behind dubious PPRP party-list picks

Prayut denies he is behind dubious PPRP party-list picks

Buddhipongse Punnakanta (left in his Bangkok Shutdown kit) and Nataphol Teepsuwan in his Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) jacket resigned from the government and registered as election candidates on Tuesday. (Photos Bangkok Post, FB/NatapholBKK)
Buddhipongse Punnakanta (left in his Bangkok Shutdown kit) and Nataphol Teepsuwan in his Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) jacket resigned from the government and registered as election candidates on Tuesday. (Photos Bangkok Post, FB/NatapholBKK)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has denied having influence over party-list selection for the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) ahead of the upcoming polls.

The premier was responding to questions over whether he will still consider being nominated by the PPRP as the next prime minister now that the party has reportedly put two people facing trial among the top five names on its party list.

The pair are Nataphol Teepsuwan, a former Democrat Party MP for Bangkok, and Buddhipongse Punnakanta, who quit as a government spokesman Tuesday.

The two men were part of the People's Democratic Reform Committee protests against the Pheu Thai Party-led government, which was toppled by the coup in 2014.

They are among those charged with insurrection for their roles in the protests. The charges were brought by the Department of Special Investigation.

Gen Prayut said he has not seen the PPRP's list and it was up to the party as to who they wanted on it.

"What the party does with its candidates has nothing to do with me because I keep clear of the affairs of political parties.

"Why would I be involved in compiling its list?" he said.

The PPRP has already invited Gen Prayut to be its prime ministerial candidate.

After the March 24 election is over, MPs and senators are expected to select a new prime minister from the candidates nominated by political parties.

Gen Prayut said yesterday he has studied the PPRP's campaign policies and found many of them were built on what the government has already implemented.

The prime minister said he will decide whether to accept the PPRP's invitation by Friday, the last day of candidacy registration with the Election Commission.

It is also the deadline for political parties to come up with their prime ministerial candidates.


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