PoliticsThailand

Deputy PM’s cunning plan to remain in power? There isn’t one

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has a cunning plan to remain in power. The plan is so cunning that there is no plan.

No, it’s not an episode of Blackadder. Deputy PM Prawit reckons the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) will remain in office after the May 7 election this year without having to woo the electorate.

The Pheu Thai Party was out in full force ahead of the New Year’s Day celebration promising life-changing policies.

The party now in its third incarnation was out and about the kingdom with its pre-election billboards, promoting policies that included a 600-baht daily minimum wage for Thai workers.

General Prawit’s response? There isn’t one. He doesn’t believe the PPRP needs to try despite three of the most challenging years in Thailand’s history. The past three years have witnessed a pandemic, a cost of living crisis, increases in utility bills, and largely, wage stagnation. The recent salary increases were not enough to cover the cost of living crisis.

Asked about the PPRP’s policies and campaign strategy, Gen Prawit admitted he didn’t have one. He said…

“There’s none.” Staggering!

The 77 year old reckons the PPRP will receive enough support in the poll to give it a say in forming the next government and is confident the party will be a part of the next government coalition.

“After the last [election], we had more than 100 MPs two months after forming the party.

“I have been with the party for as long as four years, how can we fail?

“The party was established to take care of Thais. We would like to work for the public’s interest so people will have even better lives.

“This has been the goal of the PPRP in the past 3–4 years.”

Asked whether General Prawit will be PPRP’s prime minister candidate, he replied the party has not decided.

The Deputy PM admitted he prefers military life to a political one but added he would be open to leading the kingdom over the next four years and turning the PPRP into a political institution.

“Everyone in the PPRP is onboard for this idea and rallies behind it. As long as there are people who support me, I’ll continue to be in politics.”

It appears electioneering isn’t high on the list of priorities for other government ministers too.

Prime Minister’s Office Minister Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told Cabinet ministers to focus on their work and avoid politicking.

The MPs’ tenure expires on March 23, with the election date set for May 7.

Thanakorn reported that PM Prayut has been out and about talking with the Thai people, trying to understand their problems rather than issuing empty promises.

Thanakorn made it known that the government has helped the Thai people since they came to office.

“The government has distributed welfare cards to low-income residents, compensated people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and met its target of luring back 10 million foreign tourists.

“The people will understand what the prime minister has been doing for the country despite the disinformation circulated on some social media outlets, attacking him and the government.”

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia, mostly in China. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.