PM shrugs off waning popularity
published : 21 Mar 2023 at 04:00
newspaper section: News
writer: Mongkol Bangprapa
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday dismissed a Nida poll showing him trailing Pheu Thai's Paetongtarn Shinawatra and Move Forward Party's Pita Limjaroenrat as favourite for prime minister.
Gen Prayut, a presumptive prime minister candidate of the United Thai Nation Party, said he was not worried about surveys, and he would try to do his best heading into the general election.
"I won't think about it. I just do my best," he said when asked about how confident he was about winning the election and returning as prime minister.
According to the Nida poll, when asked who they would support for the post of prime minister, 38.20% opted for Ms Paetongtarn, 15.75% for Mr Pita and 15.65% for Gen Prayut.
Gen Prayut declined to comment on speculation about a post-election deal said to already be in place between the Palang Pracharath Party and the Bhumjaithai Party following a recent meeting between PPRP leader Prawit Wongsuwon and Bhumjaithai leader Anutin Charnvirakul.
He said it was premature to talk about a political alliance when asked about the possibility of working with both parties.
With the House of Representatives now dissolved and the government in a caretaker role, he urged the coalition to remain solid in the interim.
"We did it all together ... every coalition party and every policy over the past four years. I hope everyone understands this. It isn't right to say you don't agree with this or that. We're all in the cabinet," he said.
According to Gen Prayut, a caretaker cabinet has limitations during the months leading to the formation of a new government of which ministers will be informed today.
Asked about the UTN's strong points, Gen Prayut said the party will work toward security, prosperity and sustainability.
According to the Nida Poll, Pheu Thai was also riding high, with 49.75% of respondents favouring the party, followed by 17.40% for MFP and 11.75% for UTN in the constituency system.
For party-list seats, Pheu Thai was also leading with 49.85%, followed by the MFP with 17.15% support and UTN with 12.15%.