Palang Pracharat has risen in the polls since September with the party setting forth no-nonsense policies despite an exodus of MPs. A political expert at the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) has predicted that we are likely to see a Pheu Thai-led government which could see the Palang Pracharat Party as a coalition partner. A return of the present coalition government and General Prayut to power is thought unlikely.

The confirmation, on Friday, that Prime Minister Prayut Chan ocha is going his own way from the ruling Palang Pracharat Party came also with the strongest induction yet, directly from the PM on Friday, that a dissolution of the House of Representatives is not far off and that a General Election may be called before the government finished its full term. The latest political development and new polling by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) has also led one political expert to suggest that a possible coalition government involving the Pheu Thai Party under Paetongtarn Shinawatra and the Palang Pracharat Party under current deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan was a distinct possibility after the votes are counted in 2023.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan ocha (centre) on Friday confirmed what was already an open secret that he will be the only candidate for the new Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party (RTSC) in the next General Election as a member of that party after the Palang Pracharat Party nominated General Prawit Wongsuwan as its sole candidate for the position in 2023. The current authoritative polling released on December 11th has led one National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) expert to predict the distinct possibility of a Pheu Thai-led government under Paetongtarn Shinawatra (right) and supported by the Palang Pracharat Party after the next election.

On Friday, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan ocha finally confirmed that he was applying to become a member of the new Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party (RTSC) which is expected to shortly nominate him as the party’s candidate for prime minister after the next General Election.

But first, the new party, which is rumoured to become the political home of other sittings MPs including Minister of Labour Suchart Chomklin, must secure more than 25 seats in the next General Election which it requires by law to be able to nominate a candidate when the combined National Legislative Assembly meets after the next election.

PM confirms his new political future and home after awards event on Friday at Government House, his relationship with General Prawit remains strong

The Prime Minister confirmed the move at the Santi Maitri Building at Government House at a community awards ceremony.

He said he had spoken to his colleague General Prawit Wongsuwan and that he would be the only candidate for prime minister put forward by the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party (RTSC).

General Prayut was anxious to underline that his personal relationship and bond with his former commander-in-chief in the military remained strong and undiminished.

‘Don’t forget that relationships between soldiers are deep. After I graduated, I was under his care. He was my first commander after I graduated from the cadet school and served in the military as a second lieutenant. We have worked together throughout our government service until now. This bond cannot be erased. He also feels this way,’ explained the prime minister.

The Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party (RTSC) has yet to confirm General Prayut as its candidate for prime minister but it is thought that such an announcement will be made in due course.

PM, for the first time, failed to insist his government will serve out a full term up to March 23rd 2023

The sitting prime minister is constitutionally barred from serving in office for more than 2 years if, as now appears quite unlikely, he manages to retain power, beyond April 6th 2025.

General Prayut, on Friday, said his decision to move to become a member of the new Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party (RTSC) was caused by the decision of Palang Pracharat Party to support General Prawit as its sole candidate for its role as prime minister.

He said he was acting to make his political position clear

Significantly, he did not assure reporters that the government will serve out its full term which expires in March 2023 which can be taken as an indication that a dissolution of the House of Representatives will occur shortly and an election called.

Poll shows new party behind General Prayut for PM at 5.73% support with the Palang Pracharat Party up to 10.76% as it focuses on setting out policies

A recent poll conducted by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) put the new political groups on 5.73% support, well ahead of the Bhumjaithai Party.

Bhumjaithai now maintains 4.96% support, a near 100% increase in popular support since a similar poll in September 2022 but still less than half what it recorded in the 2019 General Election when it presented itself as a party in opposition to the government represented by the current ruling party, the Palang Pracharat Party.

Of all the key parties in the coalition government, the Palang Pracharat Party which has now confirmed that it will be supporting Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan as its only candidate for prime minister, leads the way in public support.

It maintains 10.76% of first preferences among those polled, a significant rise from the 5.56% it registered in September 2022.

Under the leadership of General Prawit Wongsuwan, the ruling party has bolstered its credentials as a no-nonsense governing party with sensible plans to address the public’s key concerns which remain political stability and economic security.

Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin speaks of the party’s spirit of ‘obedience’ and ‘cooperation’ to defecting former MPs as he praised General Prawit
Arrest and detention of alleged Chinese crime boss puts political pressure on Palang Pracharat Party

However, the party is facing a probe by the Election Commission into its receipt of a donation of ฿3 million from alleged crime kingpin Chaiyanat Kornchayanant in 2021 which could see it referred to the Constitutional Court and ultimately face dissolution.

11 MPs defected to the Bhumjaithai Party last week

The party lost 11 MPs or defectors to the Bhumjaithai Party last week and it is rumoured that others may follow to the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party (RTSC) in the wake of the prime minister’s announcement on Friday.

The latest National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) poll was released on December 11th last.

A political science expert at the institute, Mr Phichai Ratnatilaka Na Bhuket, suggested that the Pheu Thai Party must now be clearly considered in the driving seat when it comes to forming the next government.

He said it was now highly unlikely that the current coalition government would be returned to power.

Coalition between Pheu Thai and Palang Pracharat Party rooted in hostility between Democrat Party and Pheu Thai, the country’s most popular party

Aside from also noting the continued high polling of the more progressive Move Forward Party, the expert raised the possibility, mooted in political circles since August this year, that the Palang Pracharat Party, the current ruling party, might form a coalition government with the Pheu Thai Party.

The reason he gave for this was the traditional hostility between Pheu Thai and the country’s oldest political party, the Democrat Party.

On Friday, the Pheu Thai Party reacted critically to the news from Government House.

Mr Anussorn Iamsa-ard, the Deputy Secretary-general of the party’s strategy committee, called on the PM to assist his party’s late-term efforts in having Section 272 of the 2017 Constitution altered before the next poll to remove the power that the unelected Senate of 250 members, installed by the last junta, retains in voting for the next prime minister.

This, in any event, will be the last time this power will be applicable.

Pheu Thai official highly critical of the PM’s announcement saying he was ousted by the Palang Pracharat Party favouring General Prawit as PM

However, the Pheu Thai Party leader noted that the PM’s announcement was linked to the decision of the Palang Pracharat Party to nominate General Prawit as its sole candidate this time around having previously supported General Prayut.

He described the prime minister as having been ousted by the ruling party.

‘General Prayut has contradictory behaviour. He doesn’t say anything straightforward, citing reasons for deciding to announce as a candidate for Prime Minister Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party. Because the Palang Pracharath Party (PPP) has already announced the nomination of General Prawit Wongsuwan,’ Mr Anussorn said.

The Pheu Thai Party executive also expressed concern about the appointment of Mr Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, the leader of the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party (RTSC), last Tuesday, in a move confirmed by the cabinet, as Secretary-general to the Prime Minister, a highly influential and powerful position often described as the second prime minister.

Mr Anussorn said that after 8 years in power General Prayut appeared determined to retain power for a further 2 years despite the country drowning in debt.

He called for an open and clear General Election to put someone in the position as government leader who has the support and full confidence of the public.

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Further reading:

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