Puea Chat insists Prayut must step down
The Puea Chat Party has joined a chorus of calls for Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down to show his sincere belief in a free and fair election as he bids to return as prime minister after the March 24 election.
The party is the latest to voice its opposition to the various roles currently carried out by the premier, who also serves as chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and a prime ministerial candidate nominated by the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), which critics deem unfair.
"We want Gen Prayut to show his sincerity," Rayut Bunthan, spokesman for the Puea Chat Party's election coordination centre, said yesterday.
Rivals of the PPRP, along with many eligible voters, do not feel comfortable as they are afraid of possible "political interference", he said.
Earlier, the Pheu Thai and Democrat parties also called on Gen Prayut to step down after he decided to accept the Palang Pracharath Party's nomination.
The parties believe Gen Prayut's resignation is important to bolster their confidence in the race to ensure all political camps are treated equally, they said.
But it is unclear whether the Puea Chat Party's demand will bear fruit as such a request could backfire by provoking Gen Prayut's ire, political pundits said.
The prime minister bluntly rejected such calls in a recent press conference, even resorting to using the word mueng, a personal pronoun considered highly offensive in Thai, when he referred to those issuing the demands that he resign.
Puea Chat is also preparing to kick off its countrywide election campaign this Thursday in Satun, one of the Democrats' political strongholds in the South.
Jatuporn Prompan, a key member of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, will help the party canvass for votes.
Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul also vowed to challenge the Democrats by making a speech about his party's main policies, hoping to snatch votes from his rival in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat.