ACTING MOVE Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat denied playing a political game to grab two key House positions for his camp pointing out that his resignation as party leader stemmed from the court having suspended him as an MP while the constitution says that opposition leader must be an MP and a party leader, Matichon newspaper said this afternoon (Sep. 16).
His denial came after former election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn said in a Facebook post that Move Forward will now have two House positions- while Deputy House Speaker Padipat Santipada will quit as Move Forward member in order to retained his post he will only move to the one-MP Fair Party even as the new Move Forward party leader becomes the opposition leader.
The military-designed constitution prohibits an opposition leader from being attached to any party which may currently assume cabinet seats or House Speaker or Deputy House Speaker posts.
However Pita emphasised that this development is not a political trick but in keeping with the rules of the 2017 constitution with decisions being made based on these very rules.
As to comments that Move Forward wants to hold on to power just as the previous government intended to, Pita urged people to not hypothesise so far ahead and listen to reason and understand the necessity with his party being straightforward with everyone.
Pita added that he is not attached to any positions but from a political context a strong opposition leader is needed to put public issues before personal ones.
Move Forward will be holding a meeting on Sept. 23 to choose the new leader and executive committee with this needed because there are many matters the opposition leader has to attend to, particularly the appointment of the opposition whip which requires his signature.
Top: Pita Limjaroenrat, left, and Padipat Santipada, right. Photo: Matichon
Insert: Former election commissioner Somchai Srisutthiyakorn. Photo: Thai Rath
Front Page: Pita Limjaroenrat talking to reporters. Photo: Matichon