Prawit steps in to save Thamanat
PPRP boss insists conflict is 'resolved'
Gen Prawit Wongsuwon has intervened as leader of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) to resolve an internal conflict involving controversial figure Capt Thamanat Prompow by ensuring he stays on as its secretary-general.
Speaking after an executive party committee meeting, Gen Prawit said the party's internal structure remains unchanged even though the issue was raised during the meeting.
When asked by reporters if a revamp would come later, he responded saying, "If you say so. I'm saying there is no change and [the conflict] is considered over."
The meeting took place amid speculation over an overhaul of the party's executive board, which gained traction after Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha summoned core members of the PPRP's factions to a meeting at Government House on Monday.
A revamp could have seen the removal of Capt Thamanat, who was sacked from a cabinet position for allegedly engineering a plot to oust the prime minister, as secretary-general.
Gen Prawit said the ruling PPRP can work with the prime minister, stressing there are no problems between Gen Prayut and Capt Thamanat, whose role is limited to party affairs.
According to a party source on Thursday, Gen Prawit did not want to restructure the party, so he decided to leave the party secretary-general post alone to avoid causing a stir.
The party leader told PPRP adviser Somsak Thepsutin and PPRP executive Suchart Chomklin about the plan, according to the source.
Mr Somsak declined to comment when asked about Capt Thamanat's role in the party as its secretary-general.
Mr Suchart, who reportedly demanded Capt Thamanat's removal from the post, on Thursday said it was up to Gen Prawit to decide on the matter, while insisting his proposal was intended to strengthen the party.
He also said that changes within a political party are common.
Wirach Ratanasate, PPRP deputy leader, on Thursday said the party will hold together as long as everyone sticks to their job.
He said the PM has nothing to worry about when it comes to support in parliament following concerns that the internal conflict in the ruling party could affect the passage of key bills.
Patcharin Samsiripoing, a Bangkok MP and party spokeswoman, said Gen Prawit wants to hear comments from party executives during their next meeting.