Thailand: PM coy on political future, cultivates media

  • Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha says he is non-committal on whether he will return as a non-elected outsider prime minister after the general election.
  • He insisted again his core belief that the press and public must unite to maintain the country’s stability and security and that it was important for all to proceed with reforms and move the country forward.
  • The only way Gen Prayut could resume his premiership after the next general election is if he is chosen as an “outsider” prime minister by parliament after the polls. If MPs fail to select a new prime minister from candidates nominated by party lists, a provisional clause under Section 272 of the constitution would trigger the alternative route. In such a situation, a joint parliamentary session would be held to pave the way to nominate a non-MP as the new premier.
  • Meanwhile, politicians from the Democrat and Pheu Thai parties welcomed Gen Prayut’s remark that he is now a politician. On 3 Jan 18, Gen Prayut declared openly for the first time that he is no longer a soldier and is now a politician, though he said he felt compelled to become premier out of a sense of responsibility.

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