Thailand’s PM to run for re-election with new party

Bangkok, Dec 23 (EFE).- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, announced Friday he would run for re-election in general elections scheduled for the first half of 2023 under a new political platform.

“I want to introduce myself to give continuity to my projects,” Prayut told the media, adding that he would head the conservative Ruam Thai Sang Chart (Party for the Unity of the Thai Nation), founded in March 2021.

The president, a reserve general who led the military coup in May 2014 and was appointed prime minister after the 2019 elections, said he is joining the new formation “because they have invited him,” when approached by the media after a Government House meeting.

With this movement, Prayut confirms rumors that he was going to leave the Palang Pracharath party (State People’s Power Party), which will be led by deputy prime minister, Prawit Wongsuwan, another of the leaders of the uprising, with whom he achieved 23.7 percent of votes in the last elections.

Prayut will not be able to finish his four-year term

In the case of being reappointed as the country’s leader, Prayut will not be able to finish his four-year term and will be forced to relinquish power in April 2025, in accordance with the eight-year limit as prime minister established by the constitution.

On Sept. 30, the Constitutional Court said Prayut began his mandate on April 6, 2017, the date on which the current charter was ratified, by dismissing the appeal filed by the opposition, which established the beginning of his tenure as August 2014, shortly after he led a military coup.

According to a poll published in November by state polling outlet NIDA, Prayut had the support of 16.23 percent of those polled as their candidate for prime minister.

He’s vastly surpassed by Paetongtarn Shinawatra, party leader of the opposition Pheu Thai, with 24.18 percent of support; and by Pita Limjaroenrat, leader of the Move Forward reformist platform, which achieved 16.73 percent support.

Another find on the intention of votes by party, published on Dec. 11, reflects the support of 32.44 percent of those consulted for Pheu Thai to form the next government, followed by Move Forward (11 percent), Palang Pracharath (10.76 percent) and Ruam Thai Sang Chart (5.73 percent), among other parties with less support. EFE

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