General Prayut Chan-o-cha is not required by law to step down as leader of the ruling junta if he is interested in entering politics ahead of the next general election, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Tuesday.
Wissanu, who is in charge of the government’s legal affairs, was responding to calls from critics for the prime minister to also leave his position as head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) now that he had hinted at a plan to enter politics ahead of the national election.
Prayut said on Monday that he was “interested in political work” and hinted at becoming a prime ministerial candidate for a political party that he had yet to identify.
“It’s the prime minister’s personal matter. Nothing is strange for someone to be interested in politics. He does not need to resign as the prime minister. And the law does not require General Prayut to resign as the NCPO leader if he wants to enter politics,” Wissanu said at Government House.
The deputy PM declined to answer a question on whether he would join a future administration headed by Prayut if approached to do so.