11 July 2024

Prime Minister’s Office Vice Minister Seksakol Atthawong said today (Wednesday) his new Ruamthai Sarngchart party can also accommodate Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, because he does not trust the politicians in the ruling Palang Pracharath party (PPRP).

The former PPRP MP who announced his resignation earlier this week told the media that he is not sure that Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, also the leader of the ruling PPRP, will be able to control all their politicians, many of whom he said he does not trust, judging by their voting in the last censure debate.

A fierce supporter of Prime Minister Prayut, Seksakol, alias “Rambo Isan”, said that the prime minister has been under intense pressure within the ruling party and he cannot let him become isolated within the party.

He said that he decided to register the new party with the Election Commission last year, after he learned that someone else planned to register a party with the same name, adding that the party is not a “reserve” party for the PPRP.

He reiterated that Ruamthai Sarngchart is not the prime minister’s party, but the party will nominate him as a candidate for the next premiership, in case the ruling PPRP does not do so.

Seksakol said he believes in the strong bond between the prime minister, General Prawit and Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda. The trio is dubbed by Thai-language media as the “3 Ps” referring to their names and nickname.

He hinted that some other politicians will join Ruamthai Sarngchart soon, adding that the party will hold a general assembly next month.

The party has not picked its leader, said Seksakol, adding that, if the prime minister accepts an invitation to attend the general assembly, he will propose the prime minister for party leader.

Seksakol’s resignation from PPRP deals another blow to the ruling party founded just one year ahead of the 2019 general elections, after controversial MP Thammanat Prompao and 20 other MPs loyal to him were sacked from the party in January.

Seksakol is also known for spearheading an attempt to oust Amnesty International from Thailand, claiming the organisation has been backing anti-establishment movements in the country.