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MONDAY, September 25, 2023

After EC directives on caretaker govt, PM firm on no House dissolution

After EC directives on caretaker govt, PM firm on no House dissolution
WEDNESDAY, August 17, 2022

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has made it clear that he would not dissolve the House of Representatives and would spend his remaining days in office serving the people, the government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Prayut himself would not talk to reporters who tried to approach him for comments after the Election Commission issued a directive on Monday prohibiting the Cabinet from using state resources and personnel for electoral advantage after the House is dissolved or during the run-up to an election.

The directive also prohibits the Cabinet from holding mobile meetings or ordering or holding seminars of state officials with money from the government or state enterprises’ coffers during the run-up to the election.

When Prayut exited a meeting on Wednesday morning, reporters tried to ask him about the EC issuing regulations on a caretaker Cabinet. Prayut did not reply to questions and walked upstairs with a stern look on his face.

Later Government Spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana quoted Prayut as insisting that he would not dissolve the House.

When asked why the EC had issued the directive, Thanakorn said the government could not answer on behalf of the EC.

“But the EC definitely does not make preparations for a political accident. The EC may just make routine preparations,” Thanakorn said.

Asked again whether the EC directive was related to the petitions seeking a Constitutional Court ruling on whether Prayut would reach his eight-year tenure limit as PM on August 23, Thanakorn said it might be that case.

A political activist and the opposition Pheu Thai Party have called on the Constitutional Court to rule that Prayut’s term should be counted on the day he became prime minister of the interim government after the May 2014 coup and his tenure should expire on August 23.

Thanakorn said the EC directive was not a signal of House dissolution.

“The prime minister insisted there would be no House dissolution and he would spend the rest of his office days to work for the people,” Thanakorn said.

The spokesman said Prayut did not pay attention to political analyses in the media predicting he would dissolve the House to pre-empt a ruling by the Constitutional Court.