DPM Prawit Wongsuwan / AFP
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan has vowed to lead the Palang Pracharath Party into the next election, to become the core party in the formation of the next government.
He also admitted for the first time, in his revealing letter publicly released on Friday, that he did not have the words to explain his feelings when Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha formally announced, on January 9th, his decision to leave Palang Pracharath to join the United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party.
DPM Prawit, also leader of the Palang Pracharath Party, said that the relationship between him, PM Prayut and Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda remains unchanged, adding that he wishes Prayut success in his future political career.
He said that he will not abandon the Palang Pracharath Party and its members and will take the lead in guiding the party to election victory.
Prawit also attempted to explain his role in the 2014 coup, led by then Army Commander-in-Chief General Prayut to oust the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, insisting that he was just an outsider “monitoring the situation with concern”.
He said he decided to join the first Prayut administration as deputy prime minister and defence minister, with the hope of restoring the situation to normal.
He admitted that he had no political experience when he joined the government, like the other members of the junta, and the best thing he could do then was to maintain the stability of the armed forces.
As the country was ready to enter election mode, after the promulgation of the new Constitution, Prawit said Prayut had expressed his wish to continue his political career, to complete his unfinished political mission, adding that he then decided to found the Palang Pracharath Party and to nominate Prayut as its candidate for the premiership.
He claimed that, during his tenure in the government, there were issues over which he both agreed and disagreed with the cabinet, but he had to keep quiet to maintain political protocol and not cause any damage to the country.