Deputy Premier Wissanu Krea-ngam on Tuesday affirmed that Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha was eligible to be a political party adviser, amid speculation that the PM would be invited to take up such a role with the new Palang Pracha Rath Party.
“There is no law that prohibits him from doing so. But he can’t contest in [the next] election,” Wissanu said.
He referred to the 2017 Constitution’s provisional clause, which requires members of the Cabinet and the National Legislative Assembly to resign within 90 days of the charter’s coming into force if they want to stand as MP candidates in the next general election.
Given that Prayut did not resign after the Constitution came into effect last April, he is deemed unable to become an MP candidate in the next national election.
There has been speculation that the military-led government’s premier might join or advise a political party, which could pave the way for him to continue a post-election premiership by becoming an outsider PM.
Unlike previous charters, the current one does not require a prime-minister candidate to be an MP of a party.
Instead, it paves the way for an outsider to become a candidate via MPs’ nomination and votes from both the House of Representatives and the junta-handpicked Senate.
The greatest focus is currently on Palang Pracha Rath, a new party which was registered earlier this month with a similar name to the government’s flagship economic scheme, “Pracha Rath”.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister General Anupong Paochinda said briefly on Tuesday that it would be Prayut’s personal decision as to whether he would become such an adviser.