SECOND DEPUTY House Speaker and Pheu Thai MP Pichet Chuamuangpan said today (July 6) that if a new prime minister is not elected at the first joint session scheduled for next Thursday July 13 the second and third sessions will take place the following Thursday July 19 and Friday July 20 respectively, Matichon newspaper said.
It is expected that three sessions would be enough to elect the prime minister, he said, adding that frequently calling joint House of Representatives and Senate sessions with 500 MPs of the former and 250 unelected senators of the latter attending is difficult.
Three sessions are already a lot and it is hoped that a prime minister will be elected within this timeframe, he said.
Asked if no one is elected the prime minister despite three sessions being held would Pheu Thai take the lead in forming a government, Pichet said this depends on the outcome of the joint sessions and a meeting of the eight partners of the Move Forward-led coalition.
The eight coalition partners, with a combined force of 312 MPs, are bound by an MOU to stay united and internal discussions would have to take place but there should not be any problems.
He also mentioned that it is as yet uncertain how many senators will support Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat for prime minister but talks with them showed they want a government set up quickly so that the country could make headway. Pita needs at least 64 more votes from non-coalition MPs and senators to be named prime minister.
Move Forward leader/prime minister-designate Pita Limjaroenrat, left, congratulating Second House Speaker Pichet Chuamuangpan upon being elected to the post last Tuesday July 4. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Matichon