Prayut is single candidate for PM from PPRP

Prayut is single candidate for PM from PPRP

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the official logo of the Palang Pracharath Party. A press conference is scheduled for mid-morning on Friday to announce that Gen Prayut will be the party's single candidate for prime minister after the March 24 election.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the official logo of the Palang Pracharath Party. A press conference is scheduled for mid-morning on Friday to announce that Gen Prayut will be the party's single candidate for prime minister after the March 24 election.

Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), formed to extend the regime's power by democratic means, will announce on Friday it has one candidate for prime minister - Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.

While most parties are putting three candidates for prime minister on the ballot, PPRP will have only one name, said party leader Uttama Savanayana.

Prime Minister Prayut promised to make an official announcement and commitment at 10am Friday.

Gen Prayut cleared his calender for Friday. Government House officials said he had no business on his agenda for the day, apart from the mid-morning press conference.

He held a one hour meeting Thursday evening at Government House with Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda, also a former army commander.

In seemingly good spirits, the prime minister made the signing symbol for "I love you" and waved to reporters as he drove away.

The prime minister was seen holding a portable pollution monitor in his hand, both as he left Government House and as he emerged from the meeting with Gen Anupong. That raised further speculation of a possible announcement might be forthcoming from the Interior Minister on fighting air pollution.

Gen Prayut and the PPRP leaders have been coy over the prime minister's role in the March 24 election, although it was an open secret the party was organised and formed specifically to keep him and the military regime's policies at the top.

Friday is the last day parties can name their candidate or candidates for prime minister, as dictated by the new election procedures outlined in the 2017 constitution.

Section 88 stipulates that each political party "shall present ... a list of not more than three persons" nominated as candidates for prime minister when the new House of Representatives convenes after the vote.

Many parties had taken Section 88 to mean that they must nominate three candidates, while others used the new format to present their top three leaders to the public.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha spent Wednesday politicking in Yasothon (above) and Mukdahan provinces, in an apparent attempt to raise the tension for Friday's announcement. (Photo courtesy Government House)

A rush is expected on Friday at the Election Commission's registration headquarters at the Thai-Japanese Youth Center in Din Daeng district as they scurry to get the required names on the ballot for prime minister.

A second party of note, the pro-Thaksin spinoff Thai Raksa Chart, also had not named any candidate for prime minister as of Thursday, and major rumours erupted, none of them confirmed,over who it might concern.

Core member Chaturon Chaisang revealed he had not even been asked to stand as a possible prime minister, a development which caused him almost as much surprise as media observers.

The party became Thailand’s top trending topic on Twitter late Wednesday over speculation about whom it might name. A local media report said the candidate won’t be a member of the Shinawatra family.


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