Parties start naming PM candidates
The Kla Party is backing its leader Korn Chatikavanij as prime ministerial candidate in the next general election.
Meanwhile, the Democrat Party is supporting its leader Jurin Laksanawisit for the position.
The moves came as several political parties recently began naming people they see fit to be prime ministerial candidates.
The ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) recently said it will back Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's bid for another term at the next election, according to an unnamed party source.
Prawit Wongsuwon, PPRP leader, reportedly told a meeting of party heavyweights on Thursday that the party will nominate Gen Prayut as PM in the next poll.
The Kla Party was formed last year by former Democrat Party MP for Bangkok Atavit Suwannapakdee. It currently has no MPs in parliament.
Mr Atavit, secretary-general of the Kla Party, on Monday said the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the economy for more than a year, noting the government's borrowing of about 1.5 trillion baht could ease the impact.
However, public debt is now above 9 trillion baht with more borrowing in the pipeline, while many people have been put out of work and those in the tourism sector are struggling to survive, he said.
The top priority is to resuscitate the post-Covid-19 economy and pull in income, repay debts and help people return to their old lives, Mr Atavit said.
"Therefore, the person who is suited for the job is Mr Korn, the party leader and former finance minister," he said. "He is well-versed in economic and financial affairs."
"[Mr Korn] also won the Global Finance Minister of the Year [award]," Mr Atavit said. "When he served as finance minister, he played a role in helping Thailand survive the Hamburger economic crisis."
"I've known him for 10 years and Mr Korn has modern ideas and is ready to listen to people from every generation," he added.
Also, Ong-art Klampaibul, deputy leader of the Democrat Party, a current government coalition partner, said it will nominate Mr Jurin as prime minister in the next poll.
"Mr Jurin was elected as party leader in accordance to party rules with party representatives taking part in his selection," Mr Ong-art said.
Regarding the main opposition Pheu Thai Party, Cholnan Srikaew, a party MP, said it has yet to reveal who its candidate will be, adding that it will come as a surprise and wow people.