23 May 2024

The pro-junta Palang Pracharat party will tomorrow afternoon extend a formal invitation to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to be its prime ministerial candidate in the upcoming election.

Uttama Savanayana, the former industry minister and party leader, will lead a delegation of Palang Pracharat’s key members to meet with Gen Prayut at the Government House to personally hand him an invitation.

Asked to comment on the move, Gen Prayut said he has yet to decide whether to accept the invitation.  “I have until February 8 to make up my mind,” he said, referring to the deadline for the submission of lists of prime minister candidates for political parties contesting in the March-24 election.

Along with the invitation, Uttama will also hand Gen Prayut an official consent form.  All political parties running in the election have the option of nominating up to three persons as candidates for prime minister. Each would-be nominee is required to fill up a consent form to be submitted to the Election Commission.

On Saturday afternoon, Palang Pracharat will unveil all of its 350 constituency candidates and 150 party-list candidates at a sports arena in Nong Chok district, on Bangkok suburbs during which it will also announce its party manifesto.

Government spokesman Putthipong Punnakan said if the prime minister accepted the Palang Pracharat party’s invitation, he would temporarily stop his Facebook posting, but will continue with his weekly TV address.

Regarding mobile cabinet meetings, Putthipong said consultations with legal experts are needed.  He said Palang Pracharat would also be able to display Gen Prayut’s pictures in their campaign posters.

Meanwhile, Pheu Thai party today resolved to nominate Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, Chadchart Sitthipant and Chaikasem Nitisiri as the party’s prime ministerial candidates.