Govt does big PR drive, claims unity
Unity within the government remains intact and coalition parties will stick together to tackle the country's problems, according to government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri.
Mr Anucha, addressing reporters' questions about displeasure brewing within coalition ranks, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had given strong assurances that coalition partners will continue working together.
The assurances came after Gen Prayut retracted an order assigning Deputy Agriculture Minister Thamanat Prompow to supervise a Covid-19 campaign in Songkhla, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Phuket.
The role of Capt Thamanat, who is also a deputy leader of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), in the South, a traditional election stronghold of the Democrat Party, had upset the coalition partner.
Democrat Party leader Jurin Laksanawisit also openly urged the prime minister to address the issue to prevent it getting out of hand.
It was reported that the U-turn was intended to ease the displeasure brewing between coalition partners.
Traisuree Taisaranakul, deputy government spokesperson, yesterday insisted that granting Gen Prayut sweeping legal powers to combat the surge in Covid-19 infections was not an attempt to centralise authority or undermine cabinet ministers. She said the cabinet had discussed the issue thoroughly and agreed that it would facilitate the government's efforts in fighting the third wave of the pandemic.
On Tuesday, the cabinet granted the prime minister power to temporarily enforce 31 laws to curb the spread of Covid-19. The temporary transfer of power is limited to trying to prevent the transmission of the virus, mitigating its impact and helping the public, according to Ms Traisuree.
Former Democrat MP Thepthai Senpong said Gen Prayut made the right decision.