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MONDAY, December 05, 2022
New party pledges to back Prayut as next PM

New party pledges to back Prayut as next PM

SATURDAY, April 07, 2018

A KEY founder of a new political party that is openly pro-Prayut Chan-o-cha vowed yesterday to form an alliance after the election in a bid to help the junta leader return as head of government.

Paiboon Nititawan, a former member of the National Reform Council, stood firm that he would join forces with other parties and the junta-appointed Senate to back General Prayut to become an outsider prime minister.
Paiboon said he believed that his party would be able to find at least 125 votes from different parties, in addition to those of his own People Reform Party. They would team up with the 250 senators to prevent the use of the PM candidate lists proposed by parties and pave the way for an outsider prime minister.
According to the Constitution, the prime minister must come from the lists proposed by political parties before the election. However, if MPs failed to agree on the decision, at least 375 members of both houses could vote to forsake the list. After that, anyone who wins at least 500 votes from the 750-member joint houses of Parliament would become the PM.
Paiboon expressed his strong preference for an outsider prime minister, saying his party would not vote for any PM candidates from the PM list and would only vote for a non-MP prime minister.
“We support a PM candidate who is not affiliated with any party. He should be a neutral man,” Paiboon said. “Personally, I think Prayut is qualified. He has the capabilities and is honest. So far, he hasn’t been found to be involved in any fraud.”
If Prayut accepted a party’s invitation and became a PM candidate in that party’s list, Paiboon said he would consult with members of his party first.
He clarified that he wasn’t pledging sole allegiance to Prayut. A neutral PM can be anyone, not Prayut alone, he explained. Politicians have warned anyone nursing the ambition to become an outsider PM that it would not be easy to run the government. Although he or she may be backed by the Senate, such a candidate might not survive a vote of no confidence in the Lower House.
Paiboon argued yesterday that contrary to people’s fears, a non-elected PM would not be weak. He said he believed in Dharmacracy in which people with high morals should be able to rule.
He refused to predict how many seats he expected the People Reform Party to win in the next election. However, he also said he believed the election would happen in February next year as per the road map.
However, if the road map failed Paiboon said he believed it must be for some understandable reason.
A meeting of founding members of the People Reform Party yesterday was attended by around 300 people to find an agreement on the party name, logo and other issues. The event was held at Coast Condominium in the Bang Na area.
People Reform was only the second newly registered political party to get permission from the ruling National Council for Peace and Order to hold its general meeting. The first one was New Alternative Party, which is also pro-Prayut.
“The People Reform Party maintains that we will not be a political party like in old politics which was governed by personal and vested interests. We will be a tool for the people and focus on good governance,” Paiboon said yesterday.
Paiboon was voted by the members to be the first leader of the new party. 
Other party executives include retired military officers and academics, such as Rangsit University lecturer Mano Laohawanit, known as a staunch critic of the controversial temple Dhammakaya and its former abbot Phra Dhammachayo who is wanted in connection with an embezzlement scandal.