Pita Warns Against Affront To Democracy

Pita Limjaroenrat. Thailand's prime ministerial candidate, speaking in front of about 1,000 supporters in Pathumwan district.
Pita Limjaroenrat. Thailand's prime ministerial candidate, speaking in front of about 1,000 supporters in Pathumwan district.

Thailand’s parliamentarians will be passing a resolution regarding the voting for the prime ministerial candidate on Thursday 13 July.

BANGKOK — Pita Limjaroenrat, the prime ministerial candidate of the election-winning Move Forward Party said that failure to vote for his premiership would be an unforgiveable affront to Thai democracy.

Pita, speaking to about 1,000 supporters on Sunday, said 13 July would be a historic day when House representatives and senators “will jointly decide what Thai politics will be in the next decade.

“With the correct decision, Thailand will be second to none.” he said.

MFP, which won 151 seats in the May 14 general election and garnered more than 14.2 million votes, is leading a coalition of eight parties that together secured 312 of the 500 seats in the House of Representatives.

The coalition nominated MFP leader Pita as its prime ministerial candidate. 

According to Bangkok Post, despite the favourable number, there is no guarantee that the eight coalition allies will be able to form a government as they need to secure another 64 votes from the 250 senators in the joint sitting on Thursday. 

Caretaker Prime Minister

Meanwhile, the United Thai Nation Party (UTN) will not nominate caretaker Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha as the party’s prime ministerial candidate.

UTN party leader Pirapan Salirathavibhag said the party will be staying out of the race for the prime ministership when the parliament votes for a new prime minister this Thursday, 13 July.

In a Facebook posting, he said UTN opposes the concept of a minority government as it would have detrimental effects on the nation.

For the May 14 General Election, UTN named two prime ministerial candidates – Prayuth and  Pirapan. However, the party only won 36 seats in the general election. 

Meanwhile, Piraphan said UTN will not vote for MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat as the new prime minister either.

He said the party would not support any party that seeks to amend the lese-majeste law, also known as article 112 of the criminal code.

Pita’s route to the premiership is also jeorpadized by petitions against his eligibility for office related to his previous shareholding in iTV plc and other technicalities.

Joint Sitting

UTN party secretary-general Akanat Promphan will chair the UTN meeting on Tuesday to pass resolutions regarding the voting for the prime ministerial candidate.

Bangkok Post reported theoretically  UTN can join forces with Palang Pracharath-led coalition which has 188 Parliament members and the 250 senators who were appointed during military rule to vote for Prayuth  to win the top post. 

A new prime minister needs 376 votes of the joint sitting.

The constitution empowers senators to join House representatives in the vote for a prime minister at a joint sitting. The parliament consists of 500 elected representatives and 250 appointed senators. — Mediahit

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