Did Prayut prohibit politicians from joining Thailand National Defence College?
Yutthapong Jarasthien, a former MP for the Pheu Thai Party, requested PM Prayut Chan-ocha to explain why Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul was listed in the 2018 graduating class of the Thailand National Defence College. Mr. Yutthapong claimed that the Prime Minister barred politicians from joining the privileged course.
The truth is PM Prayut never prevented politicians from taking part in the Thailand National Defence College. PM Prayut spoke to the press that he denies Mr. Yutthapong’s allegations, also citing that the admission of candidates is purely within the Council of Defense’s discretion.
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan confirmed that Mr. Anutin did register with the college as a businessman on behalf of STP&I Pcl., not the Bhumjaithai Party.
Meanwhile, Mr. Anutin posted on his Facebook saying “I work every day not wasting any time
in someone else’s business and gossiping. Give value to yourself, don’t worry about the dog that pisses over the Golden Mountain”, with a photograph of a business meeting he was having.
The course’s guidelines and requirements does not stipulate that politicians cannot join, although there are restrictions for those who are currently in the monkhood and religious figures.
The description for candidates from business backgrounds demands Thai individuals who operates a successful business and has stability. The individual must have ethics in their work, while being experienced in works related to national stability, politics, economics, social psychology, the military, technological sciences, energy and the environment, or individuals who have outstandingly benefitted /recognized by society.
The description for political candidates dictate that they must be politicians who adheres to the Political Official Regulatory Act 1992 and the Organic Act on Counter Corruption 1999.
The Thailand National Defence College is a 1-year course for individuals aged between 48-55 years old. The entire course’s expenses are paid for by the Thai Military. The most recent class of 2018 had 284 students.
Several famous politicians have completed the prestigious course in the past, such as Yaowaret Shinawatra, Kanchana Silpa-archa, Thepthai Senapong and Nualphan Lamsam.