Prawit seeks voter seal with list slot
wants to be sure of popular backing as PM
published : 2 Apr 2023 at 06:47
newspaper section: News
writer: Wassana Nanuam
Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) leader Gen Prawit Wongsuwon said he is running for a party-list seat so he can assume the prime minister's post with grace and confidence.
Gen Prawit, who is the PPRP's prime minister candidate, wrote on Facebook that he is contesting the general election in the party-list system because he wants a stamp of public approval when he is elected as prime minister in parliament.
Voters do not cast ballots for the prime minister in the May 14 election although parties can submit up to three prime minister candidates. The prime minister is elected at the joint sitting of MPs and senators.
"There are two ballots -- one for a party-list candidate and the other for a constituency candidate. There is no ballot for prime minister candidate. I want to be a prime minister elected by people.
"If I don't stand in the elections, how can I be sure the people vote for me? I'll be just a by-product and have no part in the process. So I put myself out there, as the party leader, party-list candidate and prime minter candidate. This is to ensure that people vote for me," he wrote.
Gen Prawit's message follows reports that Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is the United Thai Nation Party's No 1 prime minister candidate, and Pheu Thai's presumptive candidates, Paetongtarn Shinawatra and Srettha Thavisin, will not run for House seats.
Meanwhile, the PPRP on Saturday held a workshop for its constituency MP candidates to ensure they understand the campaign spending rules.
Narumon Pinyosinwat, the party's treasurer, told the gathering the workshop was necessary to help them keep their campaign spending in check and avoid complaints.
Abhisit on campaign trail
Former Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva was spotted in Bangkok's Nong Khaem area on Saturday, campaigning for aspirant Watchara Phetthong who is vying for a seat in Constituency 29.
Mr Abhisit, who took a break from politics for four years and has decided not to run in the May elections, was warmly greeted by customers and vendors when he turned up at Nong Khaem shopping mall.
He said Mr Watchara, a former MP for Bangkok, was a formidable candidate because he shared his constituents' values and acted as their voice whether or not the party was in the opposition or the coalition government.
Asked about the party's chance of regaining its foothold in the capital, he said feedback he had received was encouraging, but the party had a tough battle ahead.
The Democrats did not win a single seat in Bangkok in the 2019 general election.
He also said the party would be at a small disadvantage after the election system was changed from one ballot to two ballots.
Asked about his plans, he said he would join party candidate Pongsakorn Kwanmuang's campaign in Klong Toey area on Monday afternoon but he would miss the party's rally in Bangkok on April 7 because he had other engagements in the provinces.
Supant draws interest
Thai Sang Thai Party deputy leader Supant Mongkolsuthree caught public attention as soon as he was named one of the party's prime ministerial candidates on Friday.
Although he is new to the political realm, Mr Supant is well-known in the business community, serving as chair of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) for three terms and holding chairmanship of the APEC Business Advisory Council.
As the FTI chair, he was appointed to the National Legislative Assembly after the 2014 coup. He was approached to serve as a senator but declined the offer.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, he played a key role in procuring vaccine doses for staff of FTI-member companies to curb infections.