By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE MOVE FORWARD today (May 16) has offered to hold talks with senators to settle doubts and concerns which the unelected lawmakers may have over the progressive party’s campaign policies.
In a fresh effort to encourage a majority of the 250 senators to cast yea votes alongside a majority of the 500 MPs for Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat as prime minister in light of the party’s huge surprise victory in Sunday’s general election, Move Forward secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon confirmed the leadership of his party is looking to hold informal talks and reach mutual understanding with those senators who may have been more or less concerned over the party’s platforms earlier manifested during their electoral campaign.
Chaithawat made his comments amidst speculation that many of the unelected lawmakers will likely either abstain from voting or cast nay votes against Pita as Move Forward partisan candidate for head of a post-election government during a joint House/Senate session.
The Move Forward secretary-general commented that the senators might probably be divided and yet undecided as to whether they will vote for or against or abstain from voting on the naming of Pita for prime minister. Chaithawat did not name any senators with whom the leadership of the post-election largest party including himself may talk it over somewhere later this month.
Many of the senators, all of whom had been handpicked by Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan and army chief-turned-prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha following the 2014 coup, have looked suspicious of the Move Forward’s major campaign policies which call for amendment to the draconian lese majeste law, better known as Section 112 of the Criminal Code, wide-ranging military reforms to the extent that no more coup will occur, changing the annual military conscription from being compulsory to voluntary and an end to monopolistic, profiteering businesses currently run by giant conglomerates, among others.
Prawit and Prayut, both having contested Sunday’s election as partisan contenders for prime minister under the Palang Pracharath and Ruam Thai Sang Chart tickets respectively, are largely known to practically have more or less influence over the senators.
Meanwhile, Pita was reportedly making telephone calls to the leadership of five other parties to promptly set up a Move Forward-led coalition government with a total of 310 MPs on their side.
In addition to the Move Forward which has 152 MPs, those coalition partners include the Pheu Thai with 141 MPs, the Prachachart with 9 MPs, the Thai Sang Thai with 6 MPs, the Thai Liberal with one MP and the Fair Party with one MP.
Pita has categorically dismissed speculation that the Bhumjaithai with 70 MPs might possibly become partner of the Move Forward-led coalition though it is for the time being up to anyone’s guess as to whether he could eventually secure more than half the total of MPs and senators combined or at least 376 votes to make himself the country’s 30th prime minister.
The Move Forward leader has earlier vowed to the public to not deal with the military-installed camps, namely the Palang Pracharath headed by Prawit and the Ruam Thai Sang Chart under de facto party boss Prayut.
Top: An image of Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat overlaid on a photo of a parliament meeting.
Insert: Move Forward secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon.
Front Page: Pita Limjaroenrat at yesterday’s (May 15) victory parade. All photos: Matichon
Also read: Bhumjaithai, Chart Thai Pattana may be included in Move Forward-led coalition govt: Wanchai
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