Thailand: Prayut hints again at return as premier

  • Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has hinted once again he may be ready to return as premier after the 24 Feb 19 poll, a day after the ban on political activities was lifted.
  • During his visit with cabinet ministers to the northeastern province of Bung Kan on 12 Dec 18, Gen Prayut admitted he is now a full-time politician.
  • “I am here today. If I tell you that I am not a full-time politician, that’s not true because I have been running the country.
  • On 3 Jan 18, Gen Prayut declared for the first time since he seized power in 2014 that he is a politician, though he also reminded people he is “a politician who used to be a soldier”.
  • Also, Gen Prayut previously said he would give a clear answer about whether he would enter the political fray after the political ban had been lifted.
  • Gen Prayut previously hinted the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) may be his preferred choice if he decides to become a prime ministerial candidate on a party ticket.
  • Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana concurrently serves as the PPRP’s leader and Science and Technology Minister Suvit Maesincee its deputy leader.
  • Gen Prayut also hit out at anti-government elements who began to take to the streets to protest against the government after the ban on political activities, including political gatherings of five people and more, was lifted.

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