‘I am not a coup leader’: General Prawit hits back at Pheu Thai rejection

“I’m not a coup leader. I just helped PM Prayut with his work,” he insisted, echoing his remarks over the past few months.

The Nation

The Nation



April 21, 2023

BANGKOK – Prawit was responding to questions about Pheu Thai’s refusal to ally with “coup leaders” in a new government after the May 14 general election.

Pheu Thai PM candidate Paetongtarn Shinawatra made clear earlier this week that her party is targeting a landslide election win and would not ally with the PPRP or the United Thai Nation Party and its PM candidate Prayut, as they are “former coup leaders”.

Many believe Prawit was the mastermind behind the 2014 military coup to oust the elected administration that was led by Yingluck Shinawatra, Paetongtarn’s aunt.

Prayut, who led the coup as Army chief, was installed as prime minister by the junta or National Council for Peace and Order while Prawit – also a former Army chief – became deputy PM.

But a rift between the two former brothers-in-arms ahead of the election has seen Prawit repeatedly seek to shift blame for the coup to Prayut.

“I’m not a coup leader. I just helped PM Prayut with his work,” he insisted on Wednesday, echoing his remarks over the past few months.

Prawit added that he was in no hurry to announce which parties he would be willing to share power with after the election.

“We need to see who wins seats first to decide the next move. If we announce an alliance now, what would we do if the other parties decided not to ally with us?”

Prawit added that he is confident that PPRP’s policy of cutting utility bills and fuel prices will attract voters in the May 14 election.

PPRP this week made a bold promise to cut the price of benzine to 18 baht per litre, and diesel by 6.30 baht per litre, if it wins power.

The party also pledged to reduce electricity bills to 2.5 baht per unit for household users and 2.7 baht per unit for industry, as well as increase monthly payments under the state welfare scheme to 700 baht.

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