Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday that he wanted to remain in his position for two more years after the next general election, and then find a suitable successor due to his tenure limitation.
As reporters at Government House repeatedly asked about his political future, Gen Prayut said: “If I am able to remain as the prime minister, I will do so only until 2025.”
It was the first time that he spoke about his political future in recent months, with the four-year-long term of his present government ending in March.
Asked for his plans before his premier tenure as premier ends in 2025, Gen Prayut said: “I will do my best and then find a suitable and acceptable successor.”
To the question of whether he would join the newly established United Thai Nation Party (UTN), also known as Ruam Thai Sang Chart, Gen Prayut said: “It should have been clear by now.”
Asked repeatedly if he would join the UTN, the prime minister said: “I simply haven’t spoken about it. I will speak about it later.”
If Gen Prayut stays as the prime minister after the next general election, he can remain in office until 2025 according to a ruling by the Constitutional Court in September concerning the eight-year limit for a prime minister’s tenure.
Observers expected him to join the UTN led by Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, a former Democrat Party MP who serves as an adviser to the prime minister.
The UTN was founded in March last year by Seksakol Atthawong, a former aide to the prime minister. The party was formed to back Gen Prayut’s return as premier after the coming general election if he chooses to go that route.