The United Thai Nation (UTN) Party now has a prime ministerial candidate in mind and insists it will win enough seats in parliament to enable it to nominate a prime minister.
UTN leader Pirapan Salirathavibhaga said on Wednesday the party was waiting for the right time to name its prime ministerial pick. "There's a proper time and place for everything, politics included," he said.
His remarks came after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declared he was looking to carry on in office for the maximum of two years which the charter will allow him to serve after the next general election, and then have a suitable successor replace him.
It was the first time Gen Prayut had sketched out his political intentions. Many believe he will be a UTN prime ministerial candidate after ditching the ruling Palang Pracharath Party, which nominated Gen Prayut for premier after the previous poll.
Mr Pirapan on Wednesday said his party had not approached Gen Prayut regarding the PM candidacy issue since the premier said he intends to serve out his premiership.
The UTN has a suitable choice of prime ministerial candidates. It was just a matter of time before the party named the individual, he said.
Mr Pirapan said he had no doubt the party, despite being new, would win more than 25 seats at the poll to qualify to nominate a prime minister. "I'm confident we can do that," he added.
He also declined to say if the UTN would propose a maximum of three prime ministerial candidates. That would be decided by the executive board.
The UTN is planning to reveal its campaign policies later and is currently working to place potential candidates in constituencies.
Mr Pirapan said he was sure there would be no conflicts over who is fielded in whatever constituency.
Meanwhile, Jirawut Singtothong, a former MP for Chon Buri, said he had accepted a UTN invitation to stand in the next election under its banner. He was approached by Suchart Chomklin, the labour minister and a leading party figure.