Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has insisted he has tried his best during his time as the country’s leader and said he will respect the decision of voters if they don’t give him the chance to serve another term at the next election.
“I am trying to do my job to the best of my ability. Despite criticism and insults against me, I hold no grudge against anyone,” Gen Chan-o-cha said at a media briefing at Government House on Wednesday.
“I cannot please everyone, but I have to act for the benefit of most people,” he said. “If I have a chance, I will carry on. If not, I will just go back home. That’s all.”
The prime minister also dismissed criticism that his visit to vendors at Saphan Khao market on Lan Luang road in Dusit district on Tuesday was a disguised attempt to canvass for any particular candidate running in the Bangkok governor election.
Gen Chan-o-cha said he only wanted to visit people and offer them some moral support during this period of economic hardship.
“I told them I am doing all I can to help them. I know people are experiencing hardship and unhappiness. Therefore, as a prime minister, how can I be happy?” he said.
“I receive reports 24 hours every day. I also get information from social media. I know how people are suffering.
“The government is trying to tackle problems, though we may not yet achieve 100% of our goals and not everyone is satisfied with it. But we have to admit that the crisis is unprecedented,” Gen Chan-o-cha said, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of rising fuel prices due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“This must be taken into account and the government should be given fair treatment,” he said.
Gen Chan-o-cha said he will try to find time to visit more people and give them his support, regardless of whether they support him or not.
“I am not doing everything just for the sake of canvassing for votes,” he said.
The prime minister said he preferred making a visit without any prior announcement to avoid confrontation with any protest groups that might heckle him.
“Problems often arise if such a visit is declared in advance. Therefore, I have to find a chance to visit myself. But I also have to heed advice from officials responsible for security arrangements,” the prime minister said.
Gen Chan-o-cha also warned against any attempts to stir up political conflicts and said the government is duty-bound to maintain peace and order.
The prime minister said that projects initiated by the government are intended to respond to the needs of people regardless of which political party they support.
Gen Chan-o-cha previously shrugged off poll results on potential candidates, by the National Institute of Development Administration released Sunday, that suggested his popularity was waning and insisted the government has fared well in running the country.
According to the poll, Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat outpolled Gen Chan-o-cha — 13.42% to 12.67% — for the post of prime minister. Gen Chan-o-cha’s popularity plummeted from the 16.9% received in December. However, a number larger than the two candidates’ scores combined, (27.62%) said none of the options presented were suitable for the post, the poll found.