11 July 2024

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is coming under increasing pressure to take part in political debates with other prime ministerial candidates.

 

The People’s Network for Elections in Thailand (PNET), a non-governmental organization monitoring elections in Thailand, today posted a poem on its Facebook page calling for individuals, who aspire to become future leaders of Thailand, to have the courage to participate in political debates.

 

PNET did not mention the current Prime Minister and candidate for the pro-junta Palang Pracharat party by name, though his party has yet to respond to invitations to join live, nationally televised debates with the other candidates. Last week, Democrat party leader, former prime minister and candidate for the next premiership Abhisit Vejajiva challenged Prime Minister Prayut to join a debate.

 

Today, the Palang Pracharat party’s deputy leader Natthaphol Teepsuwan said he was confident that the current prime minister would participate in the debates, but the party would like to consult with the Election Commission first to ensure there would not be any legal issues if he were to do so.

 

The party’s spokesman, Mr. Kobsak Pootrakul, added that, as many people appear to want to find fault, his party wanted to make sure that it would be legal for a serving prime minister to help campaign for the party’s candidates.