Prawit to Join Phalang Pracharath Party, Source Says

A file photo of Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan.

BANGKOK — After years of serving as the public face of the now-defunct junta, deputy prime minister Prawit Wongsuwan is reportedly ready to try his hand at party politics.

Gen. Prawit, who until recently headed the defense ministry, will “soon” join the pro-military Phalang Pracharath Party, a source said Monday. The retired general will also secure a seat in the party’s executive board according to the source, who is one of Gen. Prawit’s close aides.

Prawit would not confirm the news in a news conference with reporters today, but said he will make a formal statement after the new government makes its first policy address to parliament.

But the retired general was present at Phalang Pracharath’s overnight conference in Korat over the weekend, where he was invited to give a keynote speech as a VIP guest.

A Phalang Pracharath spokesman could not be reached for comment as of publication time.

Founded in early 2018 by those with close ties to the junta, Phalang Pracharath soon recruited former ministers, military officers, and even some of junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha’s cabinet members into its fold. It ran canvassing campaigns even before the junta lifted its ban on political activities.

Though critics see the party as the junta’s proxy vehicle for holding onto power, party leaders maintain they are operating independently.

At the party conference – where Phalang Pracharath executives and MPs gathered to plan their post-election future – Prawit urged the politicians to work as a “family” and serve the nation’s best interests.

“The Phalang Pracharath family is a big family that unites phalang (power) from the public and state sectors together,” Prawit said.