By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A NUMBER OF PALANG PRACHARATH and Democrat MPs are looking to endorse Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat for prime minister though their respective parties will be nowhere in a Move Forward-led coalition government, partisan sources said today (May 18).
The reported moves on the part of those “renegade” Palang Pracharath and Democrat MPs were being made in hush-hush fashion in a concerted effort to secure a minimum of 376 yea votes from among a total of 500 MPs and a total of 250 senators for the naming of the Move Forward leader for prime minister, the partisan sources said.
The Move Forward-led coalition which has been tentatively formed with a backup of 313 MPs is currently 63 votes short of an adequate support for Pita, however.
The military-designed constitution of 2017 calls for a partisan candidate for prime minister to secure yea votes from more than half the combined total of the MPs and senators in a joint House/Senate session which is yet to be scheduled in near future.
Several “renegade” Palang Pracharath MPs, mostly representing upper-central and western constituencies, are known to remain under control of Sam Mit group leader Somsak Thepsuthin whilst over a dozen “renegade” Democrat MPs, mostly representing southern constituencies, are viewed as proteges of acting Democrat secretary-general Chalermchai Sri-on, the partisan sources said.
Somsak had hopped over from the Palang Pracharath, headed by Prawit Wongsuwan, to the Pheu Thai whilst Chalermchai has immediately become acting Democrat secretary-general after Jurin Laksanavisit resigned as Democrat leader due to the country’s oldest party’s crushing defeat in Sunday’s general election.
Pita’s coalition consisting of eight partners including the Move Forward with 152 MPs, the Pheu Thai with 141 MPs, the Prachachart with 9 MPs, the Thai Sang Thai with 6 MPs, the Pheu Thai Ruam Palang with 2 MPs, the Thai Liberal with one MP, the Fair Party with one MP and the Palang Sangkhom Mai with one MP whilst the Palang Pracharath with 41 MPs and the Democrats with 24 MPs are likely to be part of an opposition bloc at parliament.
Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat and the party’s eight MPs in a victory parade through Nonthaburi province abutting Bangkok today (May 18) after a clean sweep there in the general election. Photos: Thai Rath