BANGKOK — Hang in there Thailand – a new government will be formed before July ends, junta chairman Prayuth Chan-ocha said Wednesday.
Cabinet positions have yet to be settled, despite 101 days having passed since the general election in March. But in an address at Government House today, Prayuth promised an agreement is coming.
“As for a new government, let me confirm that it will be settled within July, in accordance with our roadmap,” Gen. Prayuth said.
True to his habit of making political statements at unrelated events, the junta leader announced the pledge during a speech to a group of American children with Thai backgrounds who were touring Government House.
Gen. Prayuth went on to say that his second term in office will be spent continuing work he laid down in the past five years since coming to power in the 2014 coup.
“It is the mission of the government to perform our duty to the best of our ability for Thailand’s dignity, and for the Thai people … whether they are in the country or in the United States,” Prayuth told his American-born audience.
Prayuth was selected as the next prime minister in a controversial parliamentary vote in early June, which saw the junta-appointed senators cast their votes to help Prayuth defeat his rival candidate.
But his bid to form the new government was frustrated when a faction within the pro-junta Phalang Pracharath Party threatened to defect because key members did not get influential cabinet posts as previously promised by the party.
After Prayuth intervened and made a vague reference to the possibility of another coup, the Three Friends faction said it would no longer push the issue.
“We no longer have demands. We will respect whatever the Prime Minister decides,” Three Friends leader Suriya Juangrungruangkit told reporters yesterday. “We won’t act like crybabies whatever he decides.”