With Growing Support, Prawit Tipped to Lead Gov’t Party

Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan talks to reporters on Jan. 31, 2018.

BANGKOK — Phalang Pracharath Party elders are endorsing deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan as the new leader of their party, replacing the current leader who also holds a post in the Cabinet.

The endorsements from heavyweight politicians Suriya Juangroongruangkit and Somsak Thepsutin, who lead a powerful bloc called “Three Friends,” appear to pave the way toward party leadership for Prawit amid an ongoing infighting.

Suriya, who also serves as the industry minister, said majority of the party MP supports Prawit to be the next party leader. Finance minister Uttama Saowanayon is the incumbent party chairman.

“As far as I’ve talked to the majority, that’s the case,” Suriya said.


Justice minister Somsak from the Three Friends clique also endorsed Prawit on Wednesday, saying the deputy premier is a strong candidate who has a good chance of becoming the next party leader.


The race for the new party leader was prompted by mass resignation from the executive board, though no other contender has been named so far.

When asked by reporters whether Prawit’s reputation in a luxury watch scandal would render him inappropriate for the top party post, Somsak said people should look at the “big picture.”

He said one must consider the fact that Prawit is capable of pushing party policies at the very top of the administration.