Nakhon Si Thammarat: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said he will quit politics if the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party, of which he is a prime ministerial candidate and its chief strategist, fails to secure enough House seats to form a government in Sunday's election.
Gen Prayut made the pledge while out canvassing for support on behalf of Nonthiwat Nonthaphak, the party's election candidate running in the southern province's third constituency, during a campaign rally in Pak Phanang district.
"The party's candidates in all constituencies are important to me," he said.
"If we win only a small number of constituency seats, I will just return home and take a rest," Gen Prayut went on to say.
"We need to win as many House seats as possible so we can form a strong and solid government that can work faster," he said, noting with many MPs in parliament, the party will stand a better chance of nominating and choosing a prime minister after the election on Sunday.
"Previously, I had to work with several parties and many groups. Some were easy to deal with, but some were not," he said.
He went on to say that: "I've spent many years as a soldier and went through several crises. Today, I am a politician. It is different. When I spoke to soldiers, I had to be firm.
"But when I speak to people, it is different, and I think I prefer this way," Gen Prayut said.
"You trusted me once [in the previous election]. Please trust me again [in Sunday's election," the prime minister added.
The UTN will hold a final major election campaign rally on Friday. which will be organised around the main theme: "Don't let Uncle Tu fight alone. Step forward to protect the country. Unite all hearts and minds. United Thai Nation" at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center on Ratchadaphisek Road in Bangkok.
Uncle Tu is Gen Prayut's nickname.
A number of the party's key figures will appear on stage to deliver campaign speeches to supporters and voters.
These include UTN leader Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, party secretary-general Akanat Promphan, with Gen Prayut scheduled to wrap up the event with his speech.
Gen Prayut will also lead key party figures in campaigning around the city, riding on the back of a pickup truck around key districts on Saturday, which is the last day of campaigning by political parties.
By law, parties must stop their campaigns before 6pm on Saturday.
On Election Day, Gen Prayut will cast his ballot at a polling station beneath a tollway flyover near Soi Pradiphat 5 on Pradiphat Road in Bangkok's Phaya Thai district, several sources told the Bangkok Post on Thursday.