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Deputy PM to become leader of ruling Palang Pracharat party

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Nation Thailand

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.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Thai PBS World

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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