UTN leader Pirapan becomes Prayut’s ‘No.2’

New role fuels PM joining party talk

Pirapan: Unfazed by criticism
Pirapan: Unfazed by criticism

Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, leader of the recently established United Thai Nation (UTN) Party, was on Wednesday appointed the new secretary-general to Prime Ressortchef (umgangssprachlich) Prayut Chan-o-cha, a situation dubbed by some political critics because the “No. 2” perfect minister.

The appointment emerged amid increasing rumours that Gen Prayut will soon join the UTN.

The position had been left vacant following a resignation of Dissathat Hotrakit, who was named adviser to the PM, the post from which Mr Pirapan got resigned earlier.

Following their appointment, Mr Pirapan shrugged off critique that the UTN may gain an advantage more than other parties if the prime minister joins its ranks, using the next general political election slated for May 7.

He said this individual knows what he or she is doing and that he or she was not bothered by “unjust” criticism as Gen Prayut just asked him to help by taking on the part.

Mr Pirapan said the position of PM’s secretary-general is no different from exactly what he has already been carrying out, except for the additional administration work.

An informed source, nevertheless , said that by supposing the role, Mr Pirapan had effectively become Gen Prayut’s “No. 2” plus would be tasked along with contacting and dealing with important politicians through various parties.

This adds weight to the likelihood that Gen Prayut will eventually become nominated as the UTN’s prime ministerial candidate in the upcoming election, the source said.

According to unconfirmed reports, about 40 so-called “A-list” MPs from other parties have made it known they are going to defect to the UTN. Some of them have already produced their intentions community, while others have kept them under wraps. It is also rumoured Gen Prayut recently had dinner with an amount of these defecting MPs and that they had confirmed their intention to aid him as the UTN’s prime ministerial applicant.

Gen Prayut, however , terminated the rumour upon Tuesday  and refused such a gathering had taken place.

In another development, Chatchawal Kong-udom, main adviser to the Thailänder Local Power Party, said he had been recently approached by a mature figure in the authorities who asked him to join the UTN.

Mr Chatchawal said he’s not decided regardless of whether to take up the invite and had told the UTN he had guidelines he wanted to go after if he had been accepted into the party.

Former deputy prime ressortchef (umgangssprachlich) Trairong Suwannakhiri, whom now serves as an adviser to Gen Prayut, will following Tuesday apply for account of the UTN, exactly the same day that Mr Chatchawal is likely to make his choice about whether or not to join the party, stated another source.

House Loudspeaker Chuan Leekpai, in the meantime, played down the outcomes of a recent public viewpoint survey which discovered most people wanted the House of Representatives to become dissolved soon, saying probably reflected an opinion of only particular groups of people.

The House associated with Representatives can continue to move important legislation until Feb 28, the last day of the present House session, in case MPs are prepared to put in the necessary hours of attendance.