Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said today (Friday) that that an investigation should be launched into whether the Future Forward party was connected with a protest against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in front of his hotel in New York on Tuesday.
The deputy prime minister said that the protest, reportedly by a group of Mexicans and Peruvians, was intended to discredit the Prime Minister, but he admitted he didn't know whether it had any links to the Future Forward party.
General Prawit made his remark in response to a reporter's question about the appearance of a document on social media that indicates Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit hired an American lobbyist, APCO Worldwide LLC, to facilitate his activities during his 4-day visit to the United States in July.
In an interview with VOA's Thai Office in New York today, the Prime Minister claimed he had evidence that identifies the mastermind behind the protest.
He said, however, that he did not pay much attention to the protest, adding if there was a protest, it meant that I had done a good job, otherwise they would have ignored me and just let me die quietly.
The Future Forward party, in a statement released online today, admitted that Thanathorn hired APCO Worldwide to assist in arranging his itinerary and preparing documents in English during his visit to the US between July 12th and 16th.
The party said that some appointments required registration in advance and, hence, Thanathorn needed local representatives to make arrangements on his behalf to meet legal requirements.
The party maintained that Thanathorn's US visit and his activities there were not harmful to Thailand and he had nothing to do with any undesirable events as alleged.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)