11 July 2024

Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan today denied he had  conflict with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and admitted his Palang Pracharath Party and the newly-formed Ruam Thai Sang Chart (United Thai Nation Party) “are the same”.

Prawit also said Prayut “is more than welcome” to join Ruam Thai Sang Chart.

“We have been brothers. If he wants to join the party, just go ahead. We don’t have any conflict,” he said in response to speculation that Prime Minister Prayut is about to join Ruam Thai Sang Chart which is widely seen as a political vehicle carrying him into the next general elections.

There have been reports about a political fallout between Prayut and Prawit, who is leader of Palang Pracharath, the core of the ruling coalition.  Prayut became prime minister after the elections in 2018 with the support of Palang Pracharath.

Prawit, who is reported to be harbouring an ambition to be a prime minister candidate himself in the next elections,  insisted they are still on good terms.

“We have been together for 40-50 years.  Why would we have conflicts? It’s the journalists who have been asking about conflicts,” he said.

Led by political veteran Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, Ruam Thai Sang Chart has been openly courting Prayut to become its prime minister  candidate in the next elections.  Pirapan currently serves as an advisor to Prayut.

Several incumbent MPs of Palang Pracharath are reported to be planning to switch to Ruam Thai Sang Chart which political analysts believe is designed to be an ally of the former in the elections.

“People know that the two parties are the same,” said Prawit.