Govt Spokesman Resigns to Join Pro-Junta Party

Puttipong Punnakan speaks Tuesday at the Government House in Bangkok.
Puttipong Punnakan speaks Tuesday at the Government House in Bangkok.

BANGKOK — Military government spokesman Puttipong Punnakan announced Tuesday that he was resigning to join the pro-junta Palang Pracharat Party.

Today is Puttipong’s last day working at the Government House after submitting his resignation letter Monday, saying it would be inappropriate to stay on since he would be competing in the general election.

“If I do both jobs at the same time, it may not be appropriate and could cause confusion,” he said today.

On Friday, Prime Minister and junta leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha angrily insisted he would not resign or step down despite the pending election.

Some have called for the coup leader to step down into a caretaker role as he is expected to accept Palang Pracharat’s nomination to serve as prime minister after the March 24 election.

Four of his cabinet members who became senior party officials recently resigned as well.

Puttipong was a senior figure in anti-government street protests that helped bring down the civilian government in 2014. No replacement has been named for his position.