11 July 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha reaffirmed today that general elections will take place on February 24 next year and insisted that he has not made up his mind yet as which political party he would join.

Gen Prayut also appealed to the media to stop writing or talking about non-elected prime minister in a way that would be damaging to him.

“The election will take place on February 24. That’s the way it has always been,” he said.

Gen Prayut said he has not been approached by any party and he has not decided which party to join.  “…If there is an invitation, it will just come. If there are several invitations, then I will have to make a decision,” he  said.

The prime minister obviously lost his cool when a reporter asked him whether there is a possibility that he would become prime minister by taking advantage of a constitutional exemption without going through the electoral process.    “Nobody is talking about an outsider prime minister any more.  And yet you still raise the issue,” he said, adding that the constitutional exemption is designed to cope with contingency  in the event that members the Parliament cannot agree on the choice of prime minister.

The prime minister was speaking to the press while on a tour of the city to inspect progress in transport connectivity projects.  He took a ride on the underground train from Silom station to Hua Lamphong railway station before taking a boat ride from Hua Lampong pier to Thewet pier. Earlier in the morning, Prayut caused a small stir when he turned up at Lumpini Park to join the morning joggers there.  He also danced and joked with some of the park-goers.

“I am not here on a campaign trail,” he said.