No sign yet whether Prayut will join Ruam Thai Sang Chart

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha speaks during the handover ceremony at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok on November 19, 2022. (Photo by Jack TAYLOR / AFP)

The leader of Ruam Thai Sang Chart (United Thai Nation) Party has shot down rumours that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is on the verge of joining the newly-formed political party.

“All these rumours were cooked up by the media,” UTN leader Pirapan Salirathavibhaga said in an interview with Thai PBS on Wednesday.

Pirapan said Prayut has never shown any indications that he will join the party.

“I want to say it once again that Ruam Thai Sang Chart was not set up to serve as a political springboard for Prime Minister Prayut,” he said in reference to speculation that the party was designed as a political vehicle for Prayut to enter the next general elections.

Pirapan currently still serves as an advisor to Prime Minister Prayut.  He claimed that despite his frequent communication with the prime minister, they never talked about politics.

“It would be inappropriate for me to ask him about his political plans,” Pirapansaid.

Prayut himself has repeatedly refused to be drawn into discussing his political future.   There has been speculation that he plans to join Ruam Thai Sang Chart which will nominate him as a prime minister candidate in the next general elections.

Prayut became prime minister with the support for Palang Pracharath, the core of the ruling coalition. A political fallout with party leader Gen Prawit Wongsuwanand other key leaders of the party has reportedly prompted Prayut to look for support for another party for a return to office.

Pirapan, however, admitted that if Prayut decides to join Ruam Thai Sang Chart, it would be a big boost to the party.

“But what I can is that it’s all up to him,”  Pirapan said.


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