Prayut cautious on political future

Prayut cautious on political future

PM to visit flood-hit Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen Tuesday

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha takes the chair at a meeting on the flood situation at the Interior Ministry on Monday, as he resumed duty. (Photo: Supoj Wancharoen)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha takes the chair at a meeting on the flood situation at the Interior Ministry on Monday, as he resumed duty. (Photo: Supoj Wancharoen)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday kept silent on his political future as he returned to work after the Constitutional Court ruled in his favour, extending his legal tenure until 2025.

He avoided answering questions.

"The future is the future," he told reporters as he left the Interior Ministry and headed to Government House.

Gen Prayut's first duty was to be briefed on the flood situation by provincial governors at the Interior Ministry as he prepared for a visit to Ubon Ratchathani and Khon Kaen on Tuesday.

He has pushed back the weekly cabinet meeting to Wednesday to allow for his flood inspection trip to the northeastern provinces.

The court ruled on Friday that Gen Prayut's eight-year term in office started on April 6, 2017, when the current constitution was promulgated. That meant he could serve as prime minister until April 7, 2025.

The court on Sept 24 temporarily suspended Gen Prayut from duty while the judges were considering his case. He continued working as defence minister.

A general election must be held by May next year, which means Gen Prayut could not stay in office for the full four-year term if again chosen as prime minister.

Gen Prayut came to power as the Palang Pracharath Party's sole candidate for the office, as an outsider, after the general election in 2019.

Veteran politician Veerakorn Kumprakob, a Palang Pracharath MP for Nakhon Sawan, said on Saturday the ruling party would propose three candidates for the position at the coming election. They would be  Gen Prayut, Palang Pracharath leader Gen Prawit Wongsuwon and one other person.

The constitution allows each party to name three candidates for the prime ministership.

Party spokeswoman Patcharin Samsiriphong on Sunday quickly denied the statement by Mr Veerakorn, saying it did not reflect the party's position on this issue.

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