Thailand: All eyes on Prayut as he mulls heading Phalang Pracharat ticket

  • Halfway through the week for them to submit their PM candidate lists, most political parties have lined up to report their choices to the Electoral Commission (EC), except for the closely watched Democrat and Phalang Pracharat (PPRP) parties.
  • It is highly likely that Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva will be the one and only prime-minister candidate for that party, though the list had yet to be officially submitted, while the pro-junta PPRP, has seen their preferred candidate, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, publicly claiming to be undecided, suggesting at least the possibility that the party could be left high and dry.
  • Separately, the party’s secretary-general Sontirat Sontijirawong said on 6 Feb 19 the party has a Plan B in the event that Prayut declined the invitation. Meanwhile, most parties believed to be likely members of the future governing coalition or opposition have already submitted their PM candidate list to the EC.
  • Meanwhile, political scientist Yuttaporn Isarachai said on 6 Feb 19 that Prayut is not necessarily the pro-junta party’s chief selling point and the PM’s decision could either way pose issues for PPRP, as other parties could use the nomination for their campaign. Nevertheless, he pointed out that PPRP could exploit PM Prayut’s return as an outside PM to the campaign to boost the party’s popularity.

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