11 July 2024

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today (Thursday) that he will not dissolve the House or reshuffle his cabinet, but will carry on working and is ready to face the Opposition in the general debate scheduled for February 17th and 18th.

In his first interview with reporters at Government House since his return from a two-day official visit to Saudi Arabia, the prime minister also confirmed that the Bangkok gubernatorial election will be held in May, noting that preparations for the poll are the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior and the Election Commission.

Regarding the general election, he said that there are two organic laws involved, which are a matter of procedure, which he discussed with Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam yesterday, adding that there are no political complications which may affect the election.

Asked to comment on a rumour that the 21 former Palang Pracharat MPs, led by former party secretary-general Thammanat Prompao, have been negotiating for a ministerial post in exchange for their support, the prime minister said that he was not aware of such a negotiation, adding that his priority now is to carry on with his work.

Asked whether he is holding any trump cards, he raised a piece of paper saying “this is it” and that he is not worried.

Regarding the government’s support in the House, following the departure of the 21 Palang Pracharat MPs to join the Setthakit Thai (Thai Economic) party, the prime minister said that he believes the sacked MPs are still in the coalition government, as had been told by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, the Palang Pracharat party leader.

He also dismissed the possibility of a cabinet shakeup, saying that it is not necessary.

The prime minister admitted that he feels indifferent about unresolved problems and the remaining term of his government, saying that not all the problems can be solved by a single government and the incoming government must carry on with handling of the outstanding problems.