Thammanat says ruling party deeply unpopular; must prepare for elections

Palang Pracharat Secretary General Thammanat Prompao called for unity within the ruling party and for members to work extra hard in case of early polls, local media reported on Friday.

Thammanat made headlines earlier this month after a public schism between him and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha. Thammanat was accused of trying to undermine Prayut and organizing an internal putsch that would see the prime minister removed from power during censure debate.

As a result, Prayut removed Thammanat from his cabinet position and threw into question the stability of the coalition government. Rumours swirled that snap elections would be called.

At an internal party meeting held on Thursday evening, Thammanat struck a more conciliatory tone.

We can’t just follow the narrative and continue infighting, said Thammanat at the meeting before adding that MPs and party members must support both Prayut and Party Leader Prawit Wongsuwan when they canvass and visit the provinces.

Thammanat said that the party must be ready for an election at any time as they don’t know when the prime minister may dissolve the house.

The party must do more to shore up its popularity which has waned in the past few months, Thammanat said.

‘Currently, we could lose to even Move Forward in the next election,’ he said.

It is unclear why the members of the ruling party would not be warned about a house dissolution should the prime minister decide it. Despite Thammanat’s calls for unity, rumours still circulate that he may leave the party ahead of future polls due to the split between him and Prayut.

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