By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A NUMBER OF SENATORS have remained under pressure as a phenomenal voting of Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat for prime minister is approaching on Thursday, said Move Forward secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon today (July 11).
Some of the unelected legislators have been psychologically intimidated or even threatened to get blackmailed whilst others have been offered concrete interests in exchange for their abstention from voting in a desperate bid to avert Pita’s elected premiership during Thursday’s joint House/Senate session, according to the Move Forward secretary-general.
Chaithawat declined to name names but expressed his sympathy for those senators under pressure allegedly exerted by those who might desperately strive to keep the Move Forward leader from taking the helm of government despite his having solid support from a majority of MPs under control of the Move Forward-led, eight coalition partners.
Chaithawat has earlier expressed confidence that Pita will secure adequate yea votes from MPs and senators in the first round of vote on a roll-call basis scheduled for Thursday.
House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha who concurrently performs as parliament president has earlier confirmed that the Move Forward leader will be given a second chance the following week if he fails to get enough yea votes in Thursday’s first round of vote.
The prime minister-designate who is needing a minimum of 376 yea votes as required by law already has a combined force of 312 coalition MPs on his side, thus looking for 64 more from among non-coalition MPs and senators.
Pita today posted on his Facebook page calling on all MPs and senators to help bring the country’s political climate to normal after nine years of “abnormalities” following the 2014 coup staged by de facto Ruam Thai Sang Chart boss/caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and in the wake of the coup junta-designed constitution which empowers the unelected senators to pick a prime minister alongside the elected MPs.
Nonetheless, many of the 250 senators all of whom were handpicked by Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan and the coup leader-turned-prime minister Prayut are more or less speculated to abstain from voting only to abort Pita’s rise to power.
Pita said those “abnormalities” have occurred ranging from the Prayut-orchestrated coup and legal battles affecting many anti-Prayut parties and activists to the dissolution of the Future Forward, which was practically resurrected as the Move Forward.
He insisted all lawmakers including the unelected senators whose five-year term is scheduled to end next year bring the country back to normal once and for all and set off shared missions toward the betterment of the people’s welfare and the national economy, among others.
Top: An image of Move Forward leader/prime minister-designate Pita Limjaroenrat inset on a photo of some senators at Parliament meeting chamber.
Front Page: Move Forward leader/prime minister-designate Pita Limjaroenrat. Both photos: Matichon