11 July 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha remains undecided whether to attend his first campaign rally for the pro-junta Palang Pracharat party, due to be held in Thailand’s northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima on Sunday March 10th. He told media at the Government House this morning that he is still considering the invitation.

An informed party source said that the party’s working group prepared for the Prime Minister’s campaign debut as their prime ministerial candidate in anticipation of possible complaints to the Election Commission (EC) over alleged electoral violations.

The EC gave conditional approval for the incumbent prime minister to attend campaign rallies, while adding that extreme caution should be exercised to ensure nothing is done which may be seen as benefiting or affecting any party due to his positions as the current prime minister and head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

However, the source said that General Prayut would still be provided with a security detail during his travel to and from campaign rallies, adding that a private car and casual dress without any party logo have also been arranged to make sure that he will not break any law.

The source noted General Prayut, like his predecessors, remains the Prime Minister around-the-clock, even after office hours and he will be accorded security, but the security officers will not be in uniform.

Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, however, said military personnel will not be involved in providing Gen Prayut with security while he is on campaign trail.

A core member of the party and an electoral candidate in Nakhon Ratchasima, Mr. Chamlonng Krutkhunthod, said Sunday that he anticipated about 20,000 people will attend the rally on March 10th, adding that, during the rally, the Prime Minister would talk about the government’s achievements over the past four years, including peace restoration, efforts to resolve farm product pricing issues, farmers’ land problems and social inequality.