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PM says an “outsider” prime minister will help pre-empt coup

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that having a non-elected individual to become the next prime minister as stipulated in the Constitution will help pre-empt a coup in case political parties cannot settle among themselves who should be the prime minister after the next election.

As for himself, he told the media at a get-together at the Government House on Thursday (Jan 4) that he had not been approached by any party to be the outsider prime minister (prime minister who is not an MP).

Asked about the issue of outsider prime minister, he said the media should know the answer better, adding that he would prefer not to talk about it as no one knew what would happen in the future.

The prime minister complained that his Jan 3 remark I am a politician who used to be a soldier had been misinterpreted by the media. He clarified that he made the remark to stress that his government is not a military government but a government made up of military personnel and civilians who came to work together under special situation.

I was portrayed as a soldier. This government is not a military government. There are both civilians and soldiers (in the government) because it is a special situation. If it were a military government, then it must be filled up with soldiers. If it is a military party, then all the election candidates must be soldiers. No it is not that way, he explained.

Talking about the last three years as head of the NCPO and prime minister, he said that he had completely lost his privacy � not being able to go for a sight-seeing trip, to shop or to eat outside of his home.

He said that, every day, his mind was busy thinking about works, adding that he looked haggard not because he was sick, but because he ate less as the food was not delicious and a doctor advised him to have medical checkup every three months.

Normally, I am not choosy about food. And my wife often asks me what I want to eat and I told her whatever food is fine as my wife does not know what I love to eat, said the prime minister.

He disclosed that he sleeps only 4-5 hours each day and, initially, he didn't sleep well because he was worried with so many matters. He added that he had a good memory and could remember every issue.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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