By Thai Newsroom Reporters
MOVE FORWARD LEADER PITA Limjaroenrat’s phenomenal bid for elected premiership was today (July 13) aborted at parliament as most lawmakers either abstained from voting or downright cast nay votes against him.
During today’s historic joint House/Senate meeting, the total of votes in support of Pita came out 51 votes short of a minimum of 375 as a combined force of 199 MPs and senators abstained from voting only to deny Pita’s attempted rise to power in addition to 182 others who cast nay votes against him.
That compared to 324 lawmakers, mostly being MPs attached to the Move Forward-led coalition partners, who cast yea votes for him.
However, a total of 33 senators failed to attend the two-hour, roll-call voting process whilst one senator has resigned, trimming the total of senators to 249.
The military-designed constitution requires a prime minister to get yea votes from more than half the combined total of MPs and senators or at least 375 votes.
Capping a six-hour debate prior to the roll-call voting, Pita called on in vain all the MPs and senators to help bring back the Thai politics to normal after nearly a decade of military-installed rule by coup leader-turned-prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and to work things out together in hope and no longer in fear.
Following the May 14 general election, Pita managed to garner solid support from a majority of 312 MPs of the eight coalition partners out of a total of 500 MPs.
But many of the non-coalition MPs and senators apparently did not give Pita credit for whatever he and his partisan colleagues had said in relation to their campaign policy to amend the lese majeste law, better known as Section 112 of the Criminal Code, prompting them to either abstain from voting or cast nay votes against him.
House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha who concurrently performs as parliament president adjourned the joint House/Senate meeting until July 19 to resume the process of picking head of a post-election government.
It remains to be seen if Pita will be given a second chance of being named and voted head of government now that he has failed at the first go. Wan Noor has earlier said Pita will likely be given a second chance.
There is no timeframe for the legislative process of naming and voting of a prime minister following a general election.
Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat speaking at the parliamentary debate on his nomination as prime minister today, July 13, 2023. Top photo: Thai Rath, Front Page photo: Matichon