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Prayut poised to take over party leadership: source

politics June 13, 2019 14:16

By The Nation

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Former junta leader Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha is to become the official leader of the military-aligned party, Phalang Pracharat after the new Cabinet is installed, a source in the party said.



A party assembly to change the executive board is expected next month, the source said.

Uttama Savanayana would purportedly step down to give way to Prayut while Sontirat Sontijirawong would continue as the secretary-general. 

The move to push Prayut as the party leader is to reportedly transform the general into a full politician and weaken the association with the junta. 

Prayut planned to stay in politics for the long term, the source said. Without the party membership, it had also been difficult for the general to help the party campaign and build up popularity.

Prayut's leadership of Phalang Pracharat was also to resolve the issue with the Sam Mitr or Three Allies group, which is influential in the party. The group had been a stumbling block in recent Cabinet portfolio allocation.

Deputy prime minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, in charge of the government’s legal affairs, said yesterday that Prayut could take the position if he wanted.

However, Wissanu also warned that if anything went wrong, Prayut would inevitably be affected as a party executive.