Thailand now well ahead of many other developed countries, says Prayut
As he gets ready to hand the reins over to Thailand’s new premier, outgoing Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha outlined the country’s development during his nine years in power.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, Prayut said the “leapfrog” progress during his tenure can serve as a head start for the next government.
“Over the past nine years, Thailand vaulted forward in development. Its progress in many areas is comparable to that of developed countries, and we are ready for an upgrade to become one of the world’s leading countries in the near future,” the post read.
He also thanked all citizens, state officials and people from different sectors for their “sacrifice and patience” during the country’s difficult times to help Thailand rebuild its strength.
“I’m very confident that Thailand will no longer have to start from the beginning if the things we have built are improved further. That way, we can reach the finish line even sooner,” he wrote.
In the post, he admitted that the past nine years had not been smooth or easy for Thailand. He said numerous crises like the Covid-19 pandemic and armed conflicts have had an adverse impact on energy prices, cost of living and inflation.
“But thanks to our unity and cooperation, we have been able to survive these obstacles and recover even though the global situation is still turbulent,” he wrote.
General Prayut came to power after staging a military coup in May 2014 to oust the elected government of Pheu Thai Party, which is also leading the new government.
Prayut resumed premiership in 2019 after Palang Pracharath Party, which nominated him as its PM candidate, formed a coalition government following the general election that year.
In the May 14 general election, Prayut was PM candidate for the United Thai Nation Party, which is also a partner of the Pheu Thai-led coalition. Prayut, however, has announced that he is retiring from politics.
In his self-congratulatory message, Prayut also pointed to the “20-year national development strategy” that is prescribed in the Constitution, massive investments in many mega-projects, infrastructure for the digital economy and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) industrial development zone.
The outgoing PM also pointed to the many free trade agreements his government had signed with several countries and blocs, in addition to restoring diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia after more than three decades.
Prayut wrote that over the past nine years of his tenure, his government has issued laws necessary for the efficient management of natural resources like water, soil and forests. He said his government has also made improvements to human resource development, reformed laws that were believed to be impeding national development and modernised the Thai bureaucracy.