11 July 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha insisted today that he has nothing to do with the controversial new ballot design of the Election Commission and would not invoke his executive power to solve the problem.

He said the poll ballot issue is the sole responsibility of the EC.  He was responding to charges that he might have a role in influencing the EC to change the format of the ballots to be used in the February-24 election.

The new ballot design has kicked up a storm among politicians as it carries only the names of the candidates without their party affiliations and their logos. They are afraid voters would be confused and would not be able to identify the parties they want to vote for.

The prime minister also hit back at well-known academic Thirayuth Boonmee for suggesting that his administration was following in the footsteps of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in order to stay in power after the election

He insisted that the way his government has been running the country was completely different from that of Thaksin government.   He chided Thirayuth for repeating the same message for 40 years without helping solve any problems.

Once again, Prayut was confronted with questions from reporters about the four Cabinet members who still keep their jobs even after joining the pro-regime Palang Pracharat Party. “What does the law say about it? If it says nothing, then the case is closed,” he retorted.

He also insisted that so far he had not been approached by any party to nominate him as a candidate for the premiership.

“I don’t know whether they will ask me or not (to be their candidate for premiership).  So how can I accept their offer.  Why do you keep asking?”

“Like having a daughter.  If her boyfriend does not ask for a marriage, how can she get married?  Simple question and there is already an answer,” said the prime minister.