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Hidden Pheu Thai agenda behind tug of war for House Speaker post


By Thai Newsroom Reporters

THE ADAMANT DEMAND raised by the Pheu Thai for the top post of the legislative branch is primarily designed to streamline the possible naming of a Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister, partisan sources said today (May 26).

The Pheu Thai under de facto party boss Thaksin Shinawatra is known to have quietly hatched a Plan B under which the deposed prime minister’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra could possibly be named prime minister if Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat finally failed to secure enough votes for the top post of government, according to the sources who only spoke on condition of anonymity.

A partisan contestant for prime minister is constitutionally bound to get yea votes from more than half the combined total of 500 MPs and 250 senators or at least 376 votes in a joint House/Senate session.

The coveted post of House Speaker, who could practically play pivotal roles in the process of picking head of a post-election government, is currently prompting a tug of war between the Move Forward being the largest party with 151 MPs elected in the May 14 election and the Pheu Thai as the second largest party with 141 MPs.

Whilst negotiations over the post of House Speaker between the Move Forward and Pheu Thai are going on without signs of either side conceding at the moment, many among the Pheu Thai rank and file have more or less anticipated a fiasco on the part of the Move Forward leader for whom yea votes might probably be short of a minimum of 376 votes from among legislators, especially the military-installed senators, the partisan sources said.

Given Pita’s possible failure to become prime minister, the Move Forward would be pressed to opt out for the opposition bloc whilst the eight coalition partners headed by Pita’s party with a combined force of 312 MPs at their command would almost immediately disintegrate, the sources said.

If the House speaker is attached to the Move Forward, he or she will almost certainly arrange a second chance for Pita to be named prime minister after the first opportunity has been denied in a joint House/Senate session, the sources said.

But if the House speaker belongs to the Pheu Thai, he or she will undoubtedly not give a second chance for the Move Forward leader but promptly go ahead with the naming of Paetongtarn instead, they said.

There is no legal time frame for the naming of and subsequent voting for head of government following a general election whilst a joint House/Senate session to pick a prime minister is already scheduled for early August.

Thaksin’s daughter is more or less speculated to get many more yea votes from among the senators than Pita whilst the 40 MPs-strong Palang Pracharath led by Prawit Wongsuwan and the 71 MPs-strong Bhumjaithai under de facto party boss Newin Chidchob would very likely be brought into a 280 MPs-strong, Pheu Thai-led coalition from which the Move Forward would likely be excluded, they said.


Top:A representative image showing Move Forward and Pheu Thai logos, left and right respectively, and a question mark on which party’s candidate will become the House speaker. Credit: Thai Rath

First insert: Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat. Photo: Thai Rath

Second insert: Former prime minister and de facto Pheu Thai boss Thaksin Shinawatra’s daughter Paetongtarn Shinawatra with her husband Pitaka Suksawat flying to Singapore to meet him yesterday, May 25, 2023. Photo: Matichon

Front Page: Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat. Photo: Matichon

Also read: Thaksin reserved, patient over Move Forward/Pheu Thai tussles

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