Thai ruling party to elect new executive board

Thailand’s ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) will today hold its General Assembly to elect a new executive board and officially

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan

Photo: Royal Thai Government

Thailand’s ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) will today hold its General Assembly to elect a new executive board and officially appoint Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan to party leadership.

The assembly follows mass resignations from 18 board members on June 1, which were submitted in a bid to quell internal feuds and push for stronger leadership. The PPRP, which debuted in the 2019 general election, is Thailand’s biggest coalition party with 120 lawmakers composed of different parliamentary factions. Prawit will replace acting leader and Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana, whose flagging leadership was symptomatic of the coalition’s animosity towards his technocratic faction.

Expect the new appointments to cause reverberations within the cabinet and prompt a likely substitution of the reigning technocratic ministerial core with a military-backed protectionist administration. This could potentially impede Thailand’s entry into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which would ensure stable investment commitments and increase the competitiveness of Thai goods and services. With its economy expected to shrink by 5-6% in 2020, such a boost is imperative. A changing of the guard could restore party confidence beyond the next election term, but it could also undermine much needed technical competence in economic management during COVID-19.

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