By The Nation
Prayut and his entourage including Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda, Transport Minister Arkom Termpittayapaisith, Deputy Finance Minister Chaicharn Changmongkhol, and Disthat Hotrakit, an advisor to the prime minister, left on a military plane from the Don Mueang military airport at 7.30am bound for the Phuket International Airport.
The trip is Prayut’s first official visit to Phuket after being appointed by royal command the prime minister for the new government, pending the formation of his new Cabinet.
Prayut refused to answer reporters’ questions about the complaint made by Pheu Thai MPs of his alleged disqualifications as candidate for prime minister. The Pheu Thai MPs asked the Parliament’s president to seek a ruling from the Constitutional Court as to whether Prayut should be disqualified as the prime minister because he is also the leader of the National Council for Peace and Order. The MPs reasoned that the NCPO is a government agency so Prayut should be regarded as a state official and thus prohibited from running in an election.
While in Phuket, Prayut is scheduled to chair the opening ceremony of a new road tunnel in front of a school in Tambon Rawai in Muang district at 10am. The tunnel is aimed at solving congestion at this traffic black spot and facilitating transport in line with the master plan to develop Phuket’s highways.
At 11am, Prayut is scheduled to pay respect to the Prince Chumphon statue at the Navy Area 3 command in Tambon Wichit in Muang district.
At 1pm, the prime minister will visit the Phuket deep seaport at the Ao Makham bay in Muang district and an exhibition of tools and equipment for disaster handling as part of the Integrated Disaster Management Exercise 2019. The exercise is for the six Andaman coastal provinces of Krabi, Trang, Phang Nga, Phuket, Ranong and Satun to prepare them for coping with any future tsunamis.
The prime minister will be briefed on the progress of the Phuket deep seaport development project before flying back to Bangkok later today.