June 30, 2023
BANGKOK – Outgoing Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha vowed on Thursday that he will not offer himself as a candidate for Parliament to vote on for the next prime minister, but said he will continue as premier until a new Cabinet is sworn in.
Prayut made the comment while responding to questions from Government House reporters about how long he thought it would take for a new government to be formed.
“I can’t estimate that because it’s a political process,” Prayut replied, adding: “I’ll carry out my duty until July 3 when His Majesty will preside over the state opening of the Parliament.”
He said that the next step after the opening ceremony will be the election of the House speaker.
“I am happy with all MPs and parties. Please help make the country peaceful and safe. Please adhere to the principles of protecting the nation, religion and monarchy,” Prayut added.
He said he wanted the next government to be set up soon as any delay could damage the country.
“I don’t want to see problems and I don’t want it to be delayed as it would cause damage. We’ll lose opportunities and a crisis could occur and that will not bode well for anyone,” Prayut said.
When asked whether he would stop going to work at Government House after the state ceremony on July 3, Prayut replied:
“I’ve repeatedly said I must be acting PM until the new Cabinet is sworn in. It could be a month more. They have their schedule. If everything is postponed, I’ll remain acting PM. If everything goes smoothly, I’ll leave in accordance with the schedule.”
He said he did not know whether his Uniied Thai Nation Party would nominate a candidate to contest for the post of House speaker, but said he would not seek the post of the prime minister.
“No. Not at all,” Prayut replied when asked whether he would seek another term as prime minister if MPs and senators supported him.