Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha chairs a government meeting Friday in Bangkok

BANGKOK — No law stops junta chairman Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha from joining a newly formed political party that wants to nominate him to be prime minister come the next election, his aide said Tuesday.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam told reporters the current laws only prevents the regime leader from running in the election. The new party, called Palang Pracharat, has publicly sought to sign Prayuth as its top “adviser.”

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Prayuth himself declined to answer reporters’ questions on whether he would accept the job from Palang Pracharat leader Suchart Chantaramanee.


Col. Suchart, who served on a Prayuth-appointed reform body until July, said he wants the retired general to either serve openly as a formal adviser or as an informal strategist. He also pledged to nominate Prayuth for another term in office after elections are held, possibly in early 2019.


On Monday the Election Commission said the Palang Pracharat Party is eligible to register its name – despite its similarity to pracharat, a government program launched by Prayuth.

Election regulations only bar party names that vow “destruction of a democratic regime,” commissioner Supachai Somcharoen told reporters.