By Thai Newsroom Reporters
ANOTHER ONE-MP PARTY has joined a Move Forward-led government to make it a nine-party coalition.
The little-known New Party with only one MP has added to a total of 314 MPs of the nine coalition partners who all will certainly endorse Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat for prime minister, albeit being yet short of 62 votes, according to deputy Move Forward leader Pijarn Chaowapattanawong.
Pita is being obliged by the military-designed constitution to secure yea votes for prime minister from more than half the combined total of 500 MPs and 250 senators or at least 376 votes.
For the time being, the Move Forward-led, nine-party coalition is seeking at least 62 more votes to land Pita the elected premiership after his progressive party scored a surprise victory in Sunday’s general election.
However, according to partisan sources, a number of Palang Pracharath and Democrat MPs might probably jump onto the bandwagon in support of Pita for prime minister though their respective parties will be nowhere in the Move Forward-led coalition government.
Meanwhile, Move Forward secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon said today (May 19) the Move Forward campaign-pledged amendment to the draconian lese majeste law, better known as Section 112 of the Criminal Code, is not mentioned in an MoU to be ratified by all coalition partners on Monday.
The MoU signing was primarily designed to keep all coalition partners committed to implementing their respective campaign policies in the course of public interests, according to the Move Forward secretary-general.
Given varied campaign policies being considered in top priorities at the moment, the portfolios of cabinet will only be allocated among the coalition partners at a later date, Chaithawat said.
Pita has earlier remarked that the Move Forward has resolved to amend the lese majeste law to the extent that the legal penalties of convicted perpetrators be reduced from a range of three to 15 years, suspected offenders be treated as innocent during court proceedings and only the Royal Household Bureau be authorised to take legal action against all suspects.
The Move Forward leader contended that the maximum of 15-year jail term for convicted perpetrators is tantamount to that being handed out to accidental homicide convicts whilst the lese majeste law may be practically abused by anyone against their political opponents and suspects may be unduly put behind bars pending court trials for years.
Top: An image of Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat overlaid on photos of a House meeting, left, and the party’s victory parade, right. Credit: Thai Rath
Insert: New Party leader Krititouch Sangthonyothin, or Lawyer Wut. Photo: Matichon
Front Page: Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat with Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew. Photo: Matichon