Prayut Hopes To Serve As PM for Two More Years

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha revealed he wants to stay in office for two more years after the upcoming general election, hoping to find a suitable successor before handing over power.

Speaking to reporters about his political future at Government House, General Prayut said: “If I am able to remain as the prime minister, I will do so only until 2025.”

It was the first time General Prayut spoke about his political future in recent months amid debates and legal processes regarding his current government’s mandate, which is set to end in March.

Journalists asked General Prayut about his plans before his term as prime minister ended. He replied that he would do the best he could and then find “a suitable and acceptable successor.”

The prime minister also answered questions about whether he would join the recently established United Thai Nation Party (UTN), also known as Ruam Thai Sang Chart, saying: “It should have been clear by now.”

After being repeatedly asked by reporters if he would join the UTN, General Prayut said: “I simply haven’t spoken about it. I will speak about it later.”

According to the Constitutional Court’s September ruling on the eight-year term limit for a prime minister, General Prayut could remain in the post until 2025 if the next general election favors him.

However, observers expect him to join the UTN, the party led by Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, a former Democratic Party lawmaker who serves as an adviser to the prime minister.

The former aide to the prime minister Seksakol Atthawong founded the UTN in March last year, hoping to back General Prayut’s return as prime minister after the upcoming general election.