PM unperturbed by call for Democrat to pull out of coalition
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has shrugged off the calls, by some members for the Democrat party, to pull the party out of the government coalition, saying “Let them pull out.”
He quickly added, however, that the party has not pulled out yet, when asked by reporters today what he would if they did.
Dissident members of the Democrat party have demanded that the party quit the coalition after a close aide of Deputy Agriculture Minister Thammanat Prompao became implicated in the hoarding of 200 million face masks. One even equated the party’s presence in the government to “Paddling a boat for bandits”.
Thammanat, meanwhile, told the media today that he expects the mask controversy to be cleared up by the police this week, while claiming that the controversy is politically motivated and asking the media to exercise caution in distinguishing fake news from facts.
The Prime Minister said the matter is under investigation.
Social Development and Human Security Minister Chuti Krairiksh, also a core member of the Democrat party, today dismissed the calls to pull out as personal opinions, which do not reflect the party’s stance, stressing that, for the time being, the Democrat party is still a part of the coalition government and any decision to quit must be taken at an extraordinary general meeting of the party, which is yet to be set.
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Woravuth Silpa-archa said, meanwhile, that it is the right of the Democrat members to express their views.