Thai election 2019: Swansong for PM Prayut - on TV

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has decided to end his weekly TV programme on Friday. The 30-minute monologues have generally highlighted the various projects of the military-sponsored government.
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has decided to end his weekly TV programme on Friday. The 30-minute monologues have generally highlighted the various projects of the military-sponsored government.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BANGKOK - Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will bid farewell to fans of his weekly TV programme, which began soon after he took power in a 2014 coup, following a landmark general election on Sunday (March 24).

While Mr Prayut will continue to be prime minister and junta chief until the new government is formed, he has decided to end the weekly monologues after this Friday's telecast since he has "talked about almost everything", ranging from his vision and opinions on many issues to solutions to problems in the country for nearly five years, reported Bangkok Post.

"You can now look forward to what the next government will say," Mr Prayut was quoted as telling reporters on Tuesday, two days after the kingdom held its first general election since the coup in 2014.

Persistent confusion about the results in the past three days have diminished hopes that the election would end nearly 15 years of political turmoil in South-east Asia's second-largest economy.

Official results are not due for weeks, but an opposition "democratic front" said it has attracted enough coalition partners to form a government, while a pro-army party also declared victory and said it would not accept anyone but Mr Prayut as prime minister.

For those who are looking forward to Mr Prayut's final TV address, here's a preview: the general-turned-premier will first thank state officials for their work organising Sunday's election, and then talk about preparations for the coronation ceremonies of King Maha Vajiralongkorn next month, Bangkok Post said.

The 30-minute programme, which aired every Friday night, has generally highlighted the various projects of the military-sponsored government.

 
 
 

It was formerly known as Khuen Khwamsuk Hai Khon Nai Chat, or literally "Returning Happiness to People in the Nation". Its name was changed in October 2016 to Sat Phra Racha Su Kan Phatthana Yang Yangyuen ("The King's Knowledge for Sustainable Development").

The new title linked the government's projects with the late king's advice and initiatives.

The mood of the programme was rather solemn in its early months, featuring a military uniform-attired Mr Prayut speaking as he stood on a podium.

It later became more relaxed, with the premier appearing in suits instead.

Mr Prayut usually addressed the nation directly, although he occasionally answered questions in a mock-interview style.