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Thai PM denies he is jumping ship to join another political party

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Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday dismissed claims he is about to jump ship and join another political party.

It has been a tumultuous few weeks for the leader of the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP). The PM survived the censure debate and a no-confidence vote a little over a week ago while political activists this week have called for the 68 year old to “abide by the law” and step down when his term expires on August 24. The date marks two consecutive terms as PM. The Thai Constitution states that a prime minister can only serve two terms and a maximum of eight years.

If rumours circulating Parliament are to be believed, the Thai supremo is going to join Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party. As the saying goes “There’s no smoke without fire.” But, the Thai PM denied that the newly emerging political party Ruam Thai Sang Chart approached him to be its leader in the upcoming election next year.

“Well, the party has its own policies. I have nothing to do with it. It is just another emerging party.

“I only expect all parties to work together for the sake of the country’s peace and prosperity. I offer my moral support to every party.”

Speculation grew that the PM is about to join the party on the back of him using the term “Ruam Thai Sang Chart” (Uniting Thais to Build the Nation), which he has said on a number of occasions in the past.

“They used the term to name their party. I didn’t tell them to do so and I am not its leader.

“I still stay with the PPRP, won’t I? Where do you want me to go? The party supported me to become prime minister, didn’t it?

“I remain with the PPRP in the next election. I still stick by my word.”

Ruam Thai Sang Chart was founded by Seksakol Atthawong, a former aide to the prime minister.

The party came to national attention last year. Political observers believe it has been set up as an alternative to the PPRP, should the ruling party encounter any legal trouble.

A number of high-profile politicians have joined the party, including Gen Prayut’s adviser Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, who was a former Democrat and PPRP member, former Democrat politician Akanat Prompan, and former Action Coalition for Thailand Party secretary-general Duangrit Benjathikul Chairungruang.

Pirapan is reported to have applied for party membership on July 28 while Akanat, and Duangrit enrolled on Monday.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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