On Tuesday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha publicly stated his intention to step down from the United Thai Nation Party (UTNP) and withdraw from Thai politics completely.
In a post on his Facebook page, Prayut expressed: “I would want to express my gratitude to the people who supported the United Thai Nation Party and me in the previous election.”
The party steered by Prayut ended up in fifth place, securing 36 seats – a mix of 23 constituency MPs and 13 party-list MPs — and gathering more than 4.7 million votes in the general election held on May 14.
Prayut communicated his original intention to join the party was driven by the desire to establish a high-quality party that deeply respected the nation, its religion, and monarchy.
He encouraged all remaining members of UTNP to uphold the core principles of protecting the nation, religion, and monarchy, and to work in the best interests of the citizens despite his departure from the party.
In his nine-year term, he conveyed, he had carefully considered the viewpoints of all his supporters and party members, striving to further the nation’s interests to the best of his abilities.
Prayut claimed his efforts have bolstered Thailand’s standing in a variety of areas, including transportation, communications, internet services, public utilities, foreign investment across several sectors, and research and development.
In addition, he highlighted his success in managing the Covid-19 pandemic, stating that Thailand’s efficient response resulted in its recognition as one of the top countries in handling emergent diseases.
“These are the things I have accomplished for the country and the people during the past nine years as prime minister. I truly hope that the next government would continue to do so,” he expressed.
Prayut, who took control through a military coup in 2014, held the prime minister’s office until 2023. In the May 14 election, he was nominated as the prime ministerial candidate by the UTNP, but the party didn’t achieve significant success.