Thailand’s Prayut Declares PM Candidacy for Next Year’s General Election

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declared his candidacy for the general election next year on Friday, despite his popularity has declined since he seized power in a military coup in 2014.

Gen. Prayut, 68, told local media on Friday that the newly formed United Thai Nation Party (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) “has promised to support me in becoming the next PM candidate in the next election.”

He rose to power as army chief in a 2014 coup before securing his position in a controversial election in 2019.

“I’ll make it clear today that I’ve decided to take on the role,” he told reporters outside the Government House.

Prayut had been widely expected to depart his Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), which heads the ruling coalition, after the party has confirmed that its leader and acting deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan will be the party’s candidate in the election.

The election date has not yet been set, but if Parliament is not dissolved early, its term will conclude in March, setting the ground for a vote in May.