‘Narrow’ elite irks Prawit

'Narrow' elite irks Prawit

Looking down on politicians ‘wrong’

“I am capable and can do better than others when it comes to good intentions for this country.” Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, deputy prime minister and Palang Pracharath Party leader. (Photo: Government House)

Deputy Prime Minister and Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) leader Prawit Wongsuwon has said he can do a better job than others in promoting national reconciliation and coordinating national development between politicians and the elite.

Gen Prawit said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that he has a “good understanding of the country’s power structure, which has an impact on the power struggle and the distribution of power” in the country.

There is more to the structure than what is being promoted and advertised among the public, he said.

The fight between two ideologies has been intense for years, he said, with the elite looking at the follies of politicians and people’s inability to elect capable individuals to run the country.

Gen Prawit wrote that people elected local politicians because they offered them assistance, while the national administration has failed to empower people to stand up for themselves.

“The politicians, whom the elite look down on, actually understand the problems,” he wrote. “These politicians are more reliable when people call for their help than other groups in the power structure.”

The PPRP leader said politicians, disparaged by the class of people wielding influence, are in fact the very people who understand the country’s problems and can be relied upon more than other groups in the power structure.

“I’m beginning to grasp that it was wrong to think that people are unable to elect good and capable representatives to office,” he said in his post.

This is because the majority of people are marginalised by the power structure, Gen Prawit said. To judge their choices of who they elect is the product of a narrow viewpoint and a failure to truly understand the majority of peoples’ thinking and their way of life, he said.

“In my career in politics, I have learned first-hand how politicians work on the ground through the execution of my duties in solving various problems such as water issues and my participation in campaign rallies aimed at lifting the (PPRP’s) popularity in the provinces,” he said.

From such experiences, Gen Prawit said, he has recognised how far a sense of democracy has become ingrained in people, thanks to the efforts of politicians at all levels.

That has prompted him to look back at previous elections with a profound understanding of why parties which support authoritarianism lost to those which embraced liberal democracy.

The deputy prime minister said he intended to invite the elite to take part in national development with the intention of ending conflicts in the country.

“I would like everyone to believe that with my experience, I am capable and can do better than others when it comes to good intentions for this country,” Gen Prawit wrote. “Please believe in me for once,” he added.

Meanwhile, Deputy PPRP leader Wirat Rattanasate said the ruling party will hold campaign rallies across all regions, although some itineraries are subject to change.

For example, the party planned to debut its campaign rally in Songkhla on March 12. However, the party has since switched the venue to Chiang Mai after learning Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was due to tour Songkhla at the same time.

In Chiang Mai, the PPRP will unveil its potential candidates for the North. The party has assigned Capt Thamanat Prompow and Boonsing Warinrak in charge of preparing the candidates in the northern constituencies.

After Chiang Mai, the party will open its pre-poll rally stage in the Hat Yai district of Songkhla, to be followed by campaigning in the Northeast, starting with either Udon Thani or Khon Kaen.

The party will hold a rally in Nakhon Ratchasima, a major province considered a gateway to the northeast where many House seats are up for grabs, on March 26. Mr Wirat said Gen Prawit will attend all campaign rallies.