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Move Forward scores surprise victory; Pita to become PM


By Thai Newsroom Reporters

THE MOVE FORWARD has scored a huge surprise victory in yesterday’s (May 14) general election with party leader Pita Limjaroenrat confirming he is ready to run the country as prime minister and put his party’s campaign promises to work.

According to unofficial 83% results of the nationwide election reported by the Election Commission, the Move Forward have won 151 MP seats, upsetting the Pheu Thai which had earlier anticipated a landslide victory but eventually secured 141 MP seats.

Out of a total of 500 MPs, consisting of 400 in constituency-based mode and 100 in party-listed mode, the 151 Move Forward MPs include 113 constituency-based MPs and 38 party-listed MPs whilst the 141 Pheu Thai MPs include 111 constituency-based MPs and 30 party-listed MPs.

Pita’s party has won all 33 Bangkok constituencies and swept all constituencies of several provinces in all regions of the country including the capital city’s neighbouring ones.

The Bhumjaithai under de facto party boss Newin Chidchob has secured 68 MP seats whilst the Palang Pracharath, headed by Prawit Wongsuwan, has won 42 MP seats, and the Ruam Thai Sang Chart under de facto party boss/caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has gained 37 MP seats.

Pita reconfirmed last night the Move Forward will definitely not join ranks with either the Palang Pracharath or Ruam Thai Sang Chart the leadership of which the Move Forward has invariably viewed as military-installed ones.

“With the uncles, without us. And with us without the uncles,” Pita said, citing one of the Move Forward electoral campaign slogans. The uncles referred to Prayut also known as Uncle Tu and Prawit also known as Uncle Pom.

The Move Forward are largely expected to join hands with the Pheu Thai, among other anti-Prayut camps, to set up a coalition government with Pita’s party performing as their core.

Pita said an MoU will be signed between the leaderships of all partners of a Move Forward-led coalition which, he said, may as well include the Thai Liberal and Prachachart in days to come.

Pita said the planned MoU is primarily designed to keep all coalition partners committed to implementing their campaign platforms in the course of the people’s interests.

Pheu Thai partisan candidates for prime minister Paetongtarn Shinawatra, daughter of the de facto party boss/deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and Settha Taweesin admitted that the party which has won most of the MP seats in yesterday’s election be given the privilege of naming their own partisan candidate for prime minister and becoming core of government.

It remains to be seen whether the Bhumjaithai might possibly join the Move Forward-led coalition though Pita earlier advised that Newin’s camp be no longer given the transport and public health portfolios, the major ones which they had enjoyed over the last four years.

Meanwhile, Pita said the setting up of a minority government either with Prawit’s or Prayut’s camp acting as core would be very unlikely due to a relatively low number of their MPs.

The Palang Pracharath and Ruam Thai Sang Chart bosses are known more or less to exert influence over 250 senators, all of whom had been handpicked by the both of them following the 2014 coup.

Under the coup junta-designed constitution, a partisan contestant for prime minister is obliged to secure yea votes from more than half the total of MPs and senators combined or from at least 376 votes to be successfully named one.


Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat campaigning before yesterday’s general election, and accompanied by Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit in the inserted image. All photos: Sanook.com

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