PPRP backs Prayut for another term at the helm
The ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) will back Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to stay on for a another term if it wins the next election, its deputy leader revealed yesterday.
Paiboon Nititawan's comment comes as the opposition is pushing for constitutional changes to limit the power of the Senate in voting for a prime minister, a provision the opposition sees as a tool to prolong Gen Prayut's premiership.
Mr Paiboon said the party would seek Gen Prayut's permission to be named as its prime ministerial candidate for a second time.
He rejected claims the PPRP's charter amendment bill, which leaves untouched the Senate's power in the selection of a prime minister, was meant to prolong Gen Prayut's hold on power.
If the party won enough votes to form a government, that meant voters would still support Gen Prayut to be premier for another term, Mr Paiboon said.
"This means he will stay on in power via the election. Nothing is amiss," he said.
"The PPRP supports Gen Prayut because he is a man of integrity and capable of running the country."
Opposition MPs previously slammed the Senate for announcing it would not discuss charter amendment proposals submitted by the opposition bloc and three government coalition parties.
Those bills would have cut the Senate's powers in the selection of a prime minister but the PPRP's bill keeps its powers in place.
The opposition camp and three coalition parties -- Bhumjaithai, Democrat and Chartthaipattana -- submitted a total of 14 charter amendment motions on Wednesday to revamp multiple sections of the constitution.
Sukit Atthopakorn, an adviser to the House Speaker, said yesterday that a panel of advisers warned against a charter amendment bill proposed by the opposition to revise Section 256 that would have paved the way for the setting up of a charter drafting assembly.
The panel agreed that the bill would be tantamount to abrogating the current constitution, Mr Sukit said.
The bill did not seek to amend the charter section-by-section and could go against a Constitutional Court ruling, he said.
The court earlier ruled that an amendment to Section 256 of the constitution would involve replacing the current charter, in which case a referendum before and after the charter is rewritten would be required.
In light of this, the House speaker could not put the opposition bloc's bill on parliament's agenda, Mr Sukit said.