Thailand

Ruam Thai Sang Chart would welcome Gen Prayut if he wants to move

ruam thai sang chart would welcome gen prayut if he wants to move

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha arrives at Government House for the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday.(Photo: Wassana Nanuam)

Ruam Thai Sang Chart would welcome Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha if he decided to move from Palang Pracharath, party leader Pirapan Salirathavibhaga said on Tuesday.

Mr Pirapan is also an adviser to the prime minister, but he said he did not know what Gen Prayut planned to do. There had been no discussion with the prime minister about a possible move. For now, Gen Prayut was tied up with Apec summit preparations.

It was a subject that only Gen Prayut himself could address, the Ruam Thai Sang Chart leader said. The prime minister spoke with him only about work.

He said Gen Prayut’s political participation would benefit any party he joined.

Mr Pirapan was responding to a reporter’s question about speculation Gen Prayut may move to Ruam Thai Sang Chart and whether it would be considered good news.

He declined to answer when asked whether Gen Prayut was popular in all regions, saying only that he did not pay attention to political popularity ratings.

If Gen Prayut wanted to work with Ruam Thai Sang Chart, the party would welcome him, the party leader said.

He declined to say if Gen Prayut would be made leader if he joined Ruam Thai Sang Chart, saying it was far too early to talk about it. Gen Prayut had not made any decision whether to join the party or not.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon said on Monday he would not try to stop Gen Prayut leaving the PPRP, and taking some of its MPs with him, if he ever planned to do so.

Gen Prawit was responding to reporters’ questions at Government House on Monday about rumours that Gen Prayut would move to the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party. They asked if Gen Prawit had discussed the issue with Gen Prayut.

Mr Pirapan was seen walking alongside Gen Prayut as the prime minister arrived to attend the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning. Mr Pirapan had not previously been seen walking near Gen Prayut at weekly cabinet meetings.

This increased speculation that Gen Prayut might leave the PPRP, leader of the government coalition, and join Ruam Thai Sang Chart.

Gen Prayut did not answer reporters’ questions about Gen Prawit’s remarks. He only smiled as he greeted reporters before entering the cabinet meeting.

Asked about the party’s candidate for prime minister, PPRP secretary-general Santi Prompat, also deputy finance minister, said the matter rested with senior party figures and the party executive.

Asked if the party had any plan if Gen Prayut moved to Ruam Thai Sang Chart, Mr Santi said the party was politically stable and had no work problems. The party was well prepared, he added.

Mr Santi shrugged off speculation some party MPs might move to other parties. He said defections could not be stopped, but he was confident there was unity among party MPs and all were still loyal to the party.

He also expressed confidence that the PPRP would be a core party in forming the next government. He said the party had made gains in popularity in all regions.

Gen Prayut is not a PPRP member, but he was the party’s successful candidate for prime minister after the last general election in 2019 and, until recently, has been viewed as totally aligned with the ruling party.

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