No Need for Prayuth to Attend PM Vote: Deputy PM

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam speaks at a May 22 book fair at Government House.
Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam speaks at a May 22 book fair at Government House.

BANGKOK — A top official in charge of the junta’s legal affairs insisted Tuesday that there’s no need for junta leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha to show up tomorrow when parliament convenes to elect a new prime minister.

There exist no regulations requiring Prayuth to be present even though he is a prime ministerial candidate, insisted Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam to reporters outside Government House.

The statement came after Prayuth declined on Monday to acquiesce to mounting demands from rival parties that he address parliament with a vision for the country as Phalang Pracharath Party’s prime ministerial candidate.

In the absence of a formal address from the junta leader, lower house speaker Chuan Leekpai promised on Monday to allow MPs ample time to debate the qualifications of PM candidates before going to the vote.  

Deputy PM Wissanu also specified to the media Tuesday that Prayuth and the rest of the junta will remain in their positions until a new cabinet formally reports to its first day of work. The clarification came in response to a question about whether Prayuth would resign as head of the junta before tomorrow’s vote for the country’s next prime minister.