Prawit brings brother in as chief adviser as soon as he returns to PPRP helm
Outgoing Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan was reelected as Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) leader, just hours after he gave up the seat.
News of the general’s resignation on Sunday morning initially triggered speculation about his political future. However, party politicians later explained that the Palang Pracharath leader had stepped down to make way for the election of a new executive board.
At the party’s general meeting on Saturday, deputy party leader Paiboon Nititawan, who chaired the meeting, read Prawit’s resignation letter, which was effective from 8.30am.
Advising party members not to be alarmed, he said:
“General Prawit told the previous meeting that he would stay with the party for the rest of his life. He will take good care [of the party] forever.”
Prawit was the sole nominee for the leader’s post and was immediately voted in.
The only major change in the executive board’s line-up was the secretary-general’s post, which was given to the only nominee Thamanat Prompow, who replaced Santi Promphat.
Santi, meanwhile, was to become deputy party leader in the new line-up.
Thamanat, adept at making deals, previously served as the ruling party’s secretary-general before leaving in January 2022 due to infighting.
In addition to Santi, the other four deputy leaders elected in the meeting were Paiboon, Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, Wirat Ratanaset, and Trinuch Thienthong.
Narumon Pinyosinwat was reelected as the party’s treasurer.
After returning to the party’s helm, Prawit issued an order appointing his younger brother, former national police chief Pol General Patcharawat Wongsuwan, as the party’s chief adviser. Prawit also appointed political veteran Varathep Ratanakorn as party director.
After the party meeting on Saturday, Paiboon brushed aside questions about whether Patcharawat’s appointment was part of the party’s preparation to join a new coalition government. “This action is taken in line with the party’s guidelines,” he said without elaborating.
In a related development, Prawit said on Saturday his party will decide later on how to vote for a new prime minister at the next parliamentary meeting.
He also dismissed rumours of him communicating with former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is reportedly returning to Thailand on August 10 to serve jail terms stemming from charges of corruption and malfeasance during his tenure.