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Prawit ‘knows nothing’ about a military political party

Dec 18. 2017
Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan
Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan
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By The Nation

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Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan has dismissed renewed speculation about a bid to set up a military backed political party named Pracharat or the People’s State Party.

“No, there is no such a thing. I don’t see it,” Prawit said to reporters at Government House when asked about the speculation.

Former Democrats MP Wathara Petchthong raised the issue over the weekend, saying there was an attempt to set up a military-backed party named Pracharat, which would be led by Deputy PM Somkid Chatusripitak.

Prawit also rejected speculation about Somkid leading the new party, saying he did not know anything about that.

Speculation about attempts to set up a military backed party have swirled since Maj-General Songklod Theprat, a former member of the National Committee for Peace and Order (NCPO) national reform working group set up his Volunteer Movement.

Songklod, who is seen as being close to the NCPO, has been setting up volunteer centres nationwide in a move seen as expanding the military’s political bases ahead of the election due late next year.

Earlier, ex-reformer Paiboon Nititawan also expressed a wish to set up a party, with speculation that such a party would throw its support behind the military.

In early November, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha refused to rule out the formation of a political party by the NCPO.

“I’m not thinking about [setting up a party] now but I’ll see how the situation is in the future. There is a year to think about it,” Prayut said.

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