After the 2014 coup, the then leader of the coup, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, came to power insisting that he had never wanted the post of premier for himself.
“I didn’t want to be prime minister. It’s not cool. It’s tiring,” he said in a press conference shortly after the start of his tenure.
That was then. Since, however, an abundance of evidence has emerged that things have changed. In 2019, Prayut angrily yelled, “You can try to force me out…I’m not leaving!” This year, he clung on to power successfully after the Constitutional Court ruled that he had not yet breached the 8-year term limit.
And now, it appears, he has his eyes on prolonging his time in office even further beyond into the next election, with his supporters steadily building up the Ruam Thai Sang Chart party as his next support base.
“Times change,” as a Thai saying goes, “and people’s minds change with them.” Prayut over the past 8-years may have had a drastic change of heart on how much he values sitting at the prime minister’s desk in Government House. But he is not the only one. People’s minds on him have also changed considerably.