Prawit, others reject House dissolution speculation

Prawit, others reject House dissolution speculation

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon at Government House on Oct 18. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon at Government House on Oct 18. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and other executives of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) on Tuesday rejected speculation that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will dissolve the House on Dec 24.

"No," Gen Prawit replied tersely when Government House reporters asked him whether there was substance to the Dec 24 rumours.

Asked if PPRP was prepared to cope with any sudden situation, he just shook his head.

Gen Prawit also declined to say who would be his party's candidate for prime minister, and whether the government would proceed with the draft ministerial regulation to allow foreigners to own land.

The policy is aimed to attracting wealthy foreign investors but has drawn criticism from opponents.

PPRP executive member Anucha Nakasai, who is the PM's office minister, said speculation about a dissolution was normal in politics, but he also ruled it out.

The prime minister (Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha) was insistent the government would continue to work in the people's interests, so he was confident there would not be a dissolution this year, Mr Anucha said.

"There will not be any political accidents. Nothing indicates it," he said.

Mr Anucha said Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the prime minister, would be a PRP candidate for prime minister at the general election, but he did not know how many candidates the party would put forward.

PPRP chief strategist Somsak Thepsutin, who is justice minister, said the prime minister had not said anything about a House dissolution on Dec 24.

The House still had about four months left of its tenure and an early dissolution would mean trashing bills that had already reached it for deliberation, he said.

Pheu Thai Party leader Cholnan Srikaew, leader of the opposition, thinks otherwise. He said earlier he believed the House could be dissolved on Dec 24.

The House completes its four-year term on March 23, 2023. The constitution requires candidates to be a member of a political party for at least 90 days before an election.

Mr Somsak said Dec 24 could be a deadline for politicians to secure membership of their preferred party if they wanted to run in the general election, if the election was set for March 24, but "that may not be possible". He did not explain that.

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