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Uttama elected Palang Pracharat leader, Sonthirat secretary-general

Uttama elected Palang Pracharat leader, Sonthirat secretary-general

SATURDAY, September 29, 2018

Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana was elected leader of the pro-junta Palang Pracharat Party at the party’s general assembly in Muang Thong Thani on Saturday.

Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong was elected secretary-general at the party caucus held at the Grand Diamond Ballroom of the Impact Forum Building.
The results of the election to the party’s executive board were announced at 4pm.
The assembly elected Uttama to replace Chuan Chuchan, a co-founder of the party, as leader.
Uttama said he would not vacate his Cabinet seat after accepting the party’s post.
Uttama and Sontirat had earlier announced their stand to support Prayut to become prime minister again.
The assembly also elected Pornchai Trakulwaranon as party treasurer and Wichian Chavalit as registrar.
The election of the new party’s executive board only confirms months of speculation that Palang Pracharat is likely to serve as the political vehicle for Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, chief of the National Council for Peace and Order, to return for another tenure as prime minister after the next election in February.
Political observers noted that the party’s name, Palang Pracharat, was coined after the Pracharat scheme, a version of the junta government’s populism.
The party assembly was attended by several Cabinet members who announced their membership of the party. They included PM’s Office Minister Kobsak Pootrakool and Science and Technology Minister Suvit Maesincee.
The assembly was also joined by politicians who were expected to join the party. They included leading members of the now-defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee, such as Puttipong Punnakan, now deputy PM’s secretary-general, Sakoltee Phattiyakul, deputy Bangkok governor, and Natthapol Theepasuwan, a former Democrat MP for Bangkok.
Also attending the meeting were leading members of the Three Friends group, including Anucha Nakasai. The Three Friends group is reportedly wooing former MPs from various parties to join the Palang Pracharat. The group has yet to formally announce that it would join the Palang Pracharat although it has hinted so. The group said it had sent Anucha to sit on the party’s executive board and could join the party later.
Anucha was elected a member of the executive board long with Suvit, Kobsak, Puttipong Natthapol.
The other board executives are: Surapol Danaitungtrakul, Ong-arj Panyachartrak, Thanikarn Pornkongsarojk, Sorawut Nuangchamnong and Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn.