Unconcerned Palang Pracharath leader acknowledges declining popularity
Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan has admitted that the popularity of the Palang Pracharath (PPRP), the core government party, has been declining, but says they are trying to fix the problem.
Prawit, who is also leader of the party, said that he is not, however, concerned about the problem and is confident that it will be resolved in time for the next general election, scheduled for 2023 if the government completes its term.
He also said there is no need to change the party’s image, noting that, in his first two months working for the party, it managed to win more than 100 seats in the House of Representatives.
After about three years as the governing coalition’s core party, Prawit said that he is confident that PPRP will be able to restore its popularity, thanks to the government’s performance and its dedication to the betterment of the livelihoods of the people.
He claimed that, every time he has made inspection trips to upcountry provinces, he has been warmly welcomed by the local people.
The deputy prime minister said that, if he is free from work commitments, he will join the PPRP’s “road show”, aimed at wooing public support in the provinces. The party’s first “road show” is scheduled for July 10th in the eastern province of Chon Buri.
The party has assigned Deputy Finance Minister Santi Promphat, also the party’s secretary-general, to take charge of the “road show” program, after the opposition the Pheu Thai party pre-empted other parties, including the Palang Pracharath, by reaching out to the electorate, especially in the north-eastern region, its stronghold.
A poll by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), conducted between June 20th and 23rd by telephone with 2,500 people, shows Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the youngest daughter of former prime minister Thaksin, to be the most popular choice as next prime minister, ahead of Prime Minister Prayut, who ranked 4th, and Move Forward party leader Pita Limjaroenrat, who ranked 3rd.
The poll also shows that Pheu Thai is currently the most popular party, voted for by 36.36% of the respondents.
The Pheu Thai party has appointed former red-shirt co-leader Nattawut Saikua as director of the “Pheu Thai family”, in charge of recruiting new members, in what is being touted as the party’s campaign strategy to win as much public support as possible before the next election.
Paetongtarn and Nattawut, along with several other key party members, visited the north-eastern province of Si Sa Ket over a week ago, in a bid to woo public support, after three of the party’s MPs representing this province, were rumoured to be defecting to the Bhumjaithai party.