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<div> <div>On 8 November 2017, junta head Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha posed six questions to the Thai people, seeking their opinions on Thai politics and politicians, and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). The questions have been interpreted as an indication that the junta is considering prolonging its power in the post-election era through military-supported political parties.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Prayut intends to assign the Interior Ministry to collect responses from across the country. He did the same thing in May with four questions on elections. </div></div>
<p>The deputy junta head has announced that the regime will set up its own political party if it is ‘necessary’.</p> <p>On 6 November 2017, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, the deputy junta head and Defence Minister, told media that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) will establish a political party if it is ‘necessary’, according to&nbsp;<a href="">Voice TV</a>.</p> <p>Responded to the question whether the NCPO could confirm that it would not form a political party, he said he would not be involved.</p>
<div> <div>Political parties, despite their divergent ideologies, are united in urging the junta to lift its ban on political activity now that the Organic Act on Political Parties is in effect. </div></div>
<p>The Deputy Prime Minister has announced that the US has agreed to resume selling weapons to the Thai government. &nbsp;</p> <p>Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, on 3 October 2017 told the media after a meeting in which he represented the junta leader and PM, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, that the US has agreed to resume selling weapons to Thailand after the 2014 coup d’état halted sales.</p>
<p dir="ltr">A deputy junta head alleged that there are people who planed to create chaos around the upcoming Royal Funeral.</p> <p>On 2 October 2017, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, a deputy junta head and Defence Minister, said at the meeting about security issues during the upcoming Royal Funeral for the late King Bhumibol on 26 October.</p>
<div> <div> <div>The next general election might be again postponed after a Deputy Prime Minister said that he is uncertain if the organic laws can be finalised within 2018.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>On 5 September 2017, Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan told the media at Government House that <a href="">the next general election remains unscheduled</a> as the drafting of organic laws is not yet finished.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>This statement contradicts the Election Commission of Thailand (ECT) who <a> </a></div></div></div>
<p>A well-known anti-corruption activist has called on the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to probe a Deputy Prime Minister and the national police chief over the flight of fugitive former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.</p>
<p>The Defence Minister is looking to spend 3.2 billion baht more on new fighter jets &nbsp;</p> <p>On 1 August 2017, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, the deputy junta head and Defence Minister,<a href="">&nbsp;told the media&nbsp;</a>before the weekly cabinet meeting that the Ministry will inform the cabinet about plans to spend 3.2 billion baht on four F-5 Mod fighter jets.</p>
<p>After spending billions on submarines and tanks, the Ministry of Defence is planning to spend another 8.8 billion baht on new fighter jets for the Air Force.</p> <p>On 10 July 2017, the Ministry of Defence revealed that Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, the Defence Minister, will submit a proposal to the cabinet meeting on 11 July to procure eight T-50TH fighter jets from South Korea for the Royal Thai Air Force. The deal will cost the country about 8.8 billion baht.</p>
<p>After spending billions of baht on submarines from China, the Defence Ministry now plans to buy more tanks for the Army.</p> <p>At the Cabinet meeting on 4 April 2017, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, the Defence Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and deputy junta head, said the cabinet&nbsp;<a href="">will not discuss</a>&nbsp; the plan to spend 36 billion baht on three ‘Yuan Class S26T’ submarines from China.</p> <p>He said the Defence Ministry’s Permanent Secretary’s Office still needs to check the details of the submarine procurement contract.</p>
<div> <div>Thailand’s junta leader has called for the Thai people to be flexible about the country’s ‘roadmap to democracy’, suggesting that a postponement of elections would not be a big deal. &nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>On 27 February 2017, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, delivered a <a href="">speech</a> reaffirming the importance of the country’s ‘roadmap to democracy’. </div></div>
<p>The Thai police have denied a rumour that an individual has been arrested for threatening to assassinate deputy junta head Gen Prawit Wongsuwan.</p> <p>On 3 February 2017, Pol Col Kritsana Pattanacharoen, Deputy Spokesperson of the Royal Thai Police (RTP), <a href="">denied rumour</a><u>s</u> about an arrest concerning a threat to kill Prawit, deputy junta head and Defence Minister.</p> <p>He told the media it was only a rumour and that the police and the military have been cooperating closely on the matter.</p>