In a widely anticipated move, 74 year old Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan, dubbed Thailand’s “Rolex General,” has accepted the invitation to become the new leader of Thailand’s ruling Palang Pracharat party. The move is seen as a way of strengthening unity within the main coalition party, which has been plagued by factional conflicts, and to provide unity for the government to remain in power beyond this election cycle.
His acceptance comes just weeks after he told media he was “not ready” to take up the job. Prawit is respected by the military’s top brass and maintains good ties with all political parties. Political observers say this should help ensure unity within the PPRP and the stability of the coalition government.
Party members went to the Pa Roi Tor Foundation to meet Prawit, who also acts as the party’s chief strategist, to officially extend the invitation. Present were the industry minister, justice minister, deputy finance minister, education minister, minister of digital economy and society, and the deputy agriculture minister.
After accepting the invitation, Prawit told his supporters to “be united and to do their jobs properly”.
Prawit will replace Uttama Savanayana, who lost the party leadership after the dissolution of the party’s executive board, following a mass resignation of 18 board members. A general assembly of the party is scheduled this Saturday to elect a new executive board, the new party leader (just a formality now) and the new secretary-general, among other key positions.
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