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Thai Election Jockeying Heats Up as PM Prayuth Joins New Party

  • Prayuth aligns with new political party despite tenure limit
  • Parties seek to consolidate positions as rules favor military
Prayuth Chan-Ocha
Prayuth Chan-OchaPhotographer: Andre Malerba/Bloomberg

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha joined a new party as he looks for ways to extend his eight-year rule despite term limits, signaling shifting alliances and a ramp up in political jockeying ahead of elections slated for May. 

On Monday, Prayuth became a member of the newly-formed Ruamthai Sarngchart party, which has pledged to name the former army chief as its candidate for prime minister. The move completes his split with the military-backed Palang Pracharath party that backed his bid for the top job four years ago.