Gen Wit resigns as Ruam Phaen Din leader
Close ally of Deputy PM Prawit says he will rejoin Palang Pracharath
published : 26 Jan 2023 at 17:37
writer: Aekarach Sattaburuth
Gen Wit Devahastin na Ayudhya has resigned as leader of the Ruam Phaen Din Party and is prepared to return to the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) as chief adviser to the party’s leader, Gen Prawit Wongsuwon.
Gen Wit, a close associate of the 78-year-old deputy prime minister, said he would attend the PPRP’s general assembly on Friday.
“I want to help Gen Prawit in the election campaign and will serve as chief adviser to the party’s leader only. I don’t want any executive post and won’t contest the elections,” he said.
Gen Wit has maintained close ties with Gen Prawit since they served in Sa Kaeo under the 2nd Infantry Division more than 40 years ago. He said his old comrade in arms is qualified to assume the premiership and has the political will to reduce conflicts and divisiveness.
Gen Wit was handpicked by the PPRP leader as chairman of the party’s strategic committee in September 2021 but left last year to lead the Setthakij Thai Party. That coincided with the expulsion from the PPRP of Thamanat Prompow for agitating against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Thamanat and MPs loyal to him subsequently joined Setthakij Thai and began manoeuvring against Gen Wit, who stepped down as leader. He then moved to Palang Chart Thai which was renamed Ruam Phaen Din in August last year.
Meanwhile, a source in Setthakij Thai on Thursday denied reports that Thamanat and his group would attend today’s PPRP assembly to mark their planned reunion.
The source said Thamanat would stay put at Setthakij Thai and would make a decision after the House term ends or in the event that there is a House dissolution.
The former PPRP enforcer from Phayao hinted earlier that he was about to reunite with Gen Prawit when he brought four prospective election candidates to meet with Gen Prawit in Lampang.
PPRP deputy leader Paiboon Nititawan, meanwhile, said he would propose changes to party regulations that would include allowing the party to initiate its prime ministerial candidate selection before the election decr
In any case, Gen Prawit is expected to the party’s sole choice for the position.