Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced today (Friday) that he has decided to join the United Thai Nation Party (Ruam Thai Sang Chart), ending months-long speculation about when he will formally join which party to contest the next election.
He told the media at Government House that he decided to join the United Thai Nation Party after it undertook to nominate him as the party’s candidate for the premiership post, adding that he will now apply for party membership.
He said that he had been preparing for some time to join the party, hoping that all parties concerned will be relieved by his decision today. He also said that it will depend on the people as to whether they will support him.
Explaining his decision today, the prime minister said that there are still several unfinished projects, which were initiated by his government over the past four years, which he would like to continue to completion.
He said that he has already informed Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, leader of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party, about his decision to join the United Thai Nation Party, adding that there is no conflict between them, as he insisted that his decision is in line with the democratic system.
He also insisted that his relationship with General Prawit remains unchanged, as both of them are still on speaking terms. “He was my first superior after graduation from the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy. We have been together all along. Our bond is unbreakable,” said the prime minister.
The prime minister’s political decision today is expected to lead to the defection of several MPs from the Palang Pracharath Party, particularly a faction led by Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin.
The United Thai Nation Party is led by Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, former Democrat MP and now secretary-general of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service