Prayut again vows to stay until March 2023
Will 'keep fighting and working'
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has vowed to stay on as premier to complete the government's term in March next year, says a source in the Defence Ministry.
Gen Prayut, who is also defence minister, made the remark at a remote meeting of armed forces leaders on Thursday.
"I'll keep fighting and working until the government's tenure ends," the source quoted Gen Prayut as saying.
Another source confirmed the premier has no plan to call an early election by dissolving the House and thus escape the no-confidence debate which the opposition is preparing to launch against the government in May when parliament reconvenes.
Gen Prayut remains adamant that he has the unwavering support of the coalition parties.
Gen Prayut's goal was to carry on working as prime minister long enough to host this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in November with the theme "Open. Connect. Balance".
Thailand has hosted the Apec summit on two previous occasions: in 1992 when Anand Panyarachun was the prime minister and in 2003 during the Thaksin Shinawatra administration.
The source said Gen Prayut also will take trips to the provinces to inspect progress in major government projects, starting with Rayong on Monday.
He will tour the phase-three expansion of the Map Ta Phut industrial port and meet fishermen in Ban Ta Kuan affected by recent oil spills in Muang district.
In a related development, three of six bills to amend the organic law on political parties passed their first reading in parliament on Friday.
The bills will now be integrated with one sponsored by the cabinet adopted as the core bill for scrutiny.
The most heavily debated issues were complicated requirements surrounding primary elections and the nomination process.
The opposition also sought to remove a clause pertaining to the dissolution of parties.
The bills were admitted soon after bills seeking to amend the law on the election of MPs cleared their first reading.
A House committee will study the draft amendments. Parliament has up to 180 days to enact the bills.