Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth leaves politics nine years after the coup

 Nine years after he took power in a military coup, Thailand's PM Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Tuesday that he was retiring from politics and that he would only be in charge for a short time. His announcement was widely anticipated following the crushing defeat of his military-backed United Thai Nation party in an election on May 14 that saw it win just 36 of the 500 seats in the house. He will remain guardian chief until another administration is shaped. The former army chief, a fervent supporter of the monarchy, led a junta until an election in 2019 and was selected by parliament to serve as prime minister for an additional four years. His opponents claim that this outcome was predetermined.

Prayuth, 69, has rejected that and Tuesday said he had "accomplished numerous triumphs". " As prime minister, I have put in a lot of effort to safeguard the nation, religion, and monarchy for the benefit of people. The public is currently benefiting from the outcome, he stated. I have attempted to strengthen the nation for peace and stability and overcome numerous domestic and international obstacles.

Prayuth has survived multiple challenges in the nine years since his coup, including court cases, house confidence votes, and street protests by opponents who saw him as an opportunist without a public mandate. His administration has received a lot of criticism for how it has handled the Covid-19 pandemic and the economy. During his time in office, Thailand had its worst economic performance since the 1990s. His announcement comes as the new parliament gets ready to meet on Thursday to vote on the next prime minister.

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