Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, an adviser to the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) leader, denies having any political ambition to be a candidate for prime minister.
The veteran politician, who also serves an adviser to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, stirred the pot after rumours spread he is being touted as one of the PPRP’s prime ministerial candidates.
Mr Pirapan said he had accepted the job simply to help Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon to strengthen the party and has no hidden agenda. “I’m not obsessed with positions, just work,” he said.
He and Gen Prawit had been in talks for some time about strengthening and developing the party and he “finds himself drawn to it”.
However, he had no time due to other work engagements including the charter amendment and Thai Airways International’s rehabilitation plan.
The issue of him being nominated as a prime ministerial candidate has never been raised in talks with Gen Prawit or Gen Prayut, he said, and declined to discuss speculation he might be offered a cabinet seat.
Mr Pirapan also denied he is disliked by some PPRP members as he is seen as “Gen Prayut’s man”.
He said he was not sent to restructure the party as suggested by some reports, adding an adviser holds no executive post or any decision-making power.
“Don’t be worried. I’ve no hidden agenda. I’m not interested [in positions]. I’m not here for it,” he said.
He said he intended to apply as a PPRP member in April last year but his plan was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He said with his legal expertise he hopes to contribute to the party by providing legal advice to the party’s MPs.
Mr Pirapan applied as a PPRP member recently and was made Gen Prawit’s adviser upon joining. However, discontent has grown amid rumours that he would become a prime ministerial candidate.
A five-time MP with the Democrat Party and a former justice minister during the Abhisit Vejjajiva government, he left the Democrat Party in 2019 and went to work for the government serving as Gen Prayut’s adviser.Among his first job was to chair a House panel to study charter amendments.
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