WHILE AGAIN admitting he had become a “fully fledged politician”, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told locals during a mobile Cabinet tour of the Northeast yesterday that he would lay down his life to continue serving the country.
During his visit to Bueng Kan province yesterday, the prime minister also asked eligible voters to “carefully elect candidates with good policy platforms”.
General Prayut, who heads the ruling National Council for Peace and Order, was greeted by about 5,000 local residents as he arrived at a public park in Bueng Kan.
His Cabinet is scheduled to convene its mobile meeting in the province today. The meeting will discuss matters involving Bueng Kan and the adjacent provinces – Loei, Nong Khai, Nong Bua Lamphu and Udon Thani.
“I come here today just like a fully fledged politician. Now I can’t say that I am not.
“It’s because I run the country,” Prayut told the crowd. “You know that I am suffering. But I agree to suffer and lay down my life in this position.”
In January, the former coup leader had described himself as a politician for the first time after having repeatedly denied he was one.
Yesterday he also suggested that people wanted him to remain in office.
“While in bed, I thought about why people place their hopes on me and why they want me to work. It’s because they have hope and I have to make their wish come true.”
Prayut urged people not to take part in street protests now that political restrictions were lifted, as “confusion and chaos” would again cause damage to the country.
“People must not allow anyone to lead them to confusion and chaos again. Such a thing must not happen again because Thailand is going to host the Asean Summit next year,” he said.
Prayut also said that the mobile Cabinet meeting would address issues involving local residents and the regional provinces.
He pointed to more than 2,900 projects in the five provinces in the Northeast as among the accomplishments of the post-coup government.
During his tour to attractions in Bueng Kan, the prime minister was accompanied by senior Cabinet members, including Deputy Premier and Justice Minister ACM Prajin Juntong, Deputy Prime Minister General Chatchai Sarikulya and Interior Minister General Anupong Paojinda.
There was tight security at the places visited by Prayut and his entourage.