Local news

Lawyers urge senators to okay PM candidate backed by majority of MPs


By Thai Newsroom Reporters

THE LAWYERS ASSOCIATION of Thailand today (Apr.24) advised all senators to let a partisan candidate for prime minister who may be endorsed by a majority of MPs become head of government after the May 14 general election.

Narinpong Jinapuck, head of the Lawyers Association of Thailand, made a statement calling on the 250 unelected senators to comply with democratic rule simply by allowing the partisan contestant for prime minister supported by most of the 500 elected MPs take the helm of government after the nationwide election.

The association head’s statement was apparently issued in response to the possibility of the senators, all of whom had been handpicked after the 2014 coup staged by the then-army chief Prayut Chan-o-cha and Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan, either only looking to vote for Prayut or Prawit or abstaining from casting their vote for head of a post-election government in a joint House/Senate session.

A partisan contender for prime minister is legally bound to secure solid support from more than half the total of MPs and senators combined or at least 376 votes to be successfully named head of government.

The coup junta-designed constitution empowers the unelected senators to vote alongside the elected MPs for prime minister.

Narinpong contended that a minority government which might possibly be set up under premiership of Prayut who is acting as caretaker prime minister could not practically run the country without decisive yea votes from a majority of MPs though he might probably otherwise be endorsed by a minority of MPs and the senators to take the helm after the May 14 election.

Nevertheless, Prayut could possibly indefinitely remain as caretaker prime minister as long as an elected prime minister cannot be named from among partisan contestants running for the top post of government, Narinpong said.

No deadline is legally set by law for the House of Representatives to spend time on the naming of any partisan candidates for prime minister following the nationwide election.

That kind of political business could possibly take several weeks, if not months, according to the association head.

The Palang Praharath leader who is running as sole partisan contender for prime minister earlier assured that there would be no such thing as a minority government because, he said, that kind of executive branch practically could not run the country at all.

Yet, Prawit said, electoral campaign promises could possibly eventually be broken when it comes to the setting up of a majority-backed government among the parties currently contesting the nationwide race to parliament.


Top: A representative image of the upcoming election showing the two ballot papers – one for the constituency MP and the other party-listed one. Photo: Matichon

Insert: Lawyers Association of Thailand head Narinpong Jinapuck. Photo: Thai Rath

Front Page: Caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha campaigning in Chinatown recently. Photo: Matichon

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