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Thailand’s Pheu Thai Party Now the Front-Runner to Form a New Government

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Thailand's Pheu Thai Party Now the Front-Runner to Form a New Government

After parliament on Wednesday rejected a request to renominate Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat for a vote on prime minister, citing a parliamentary meeting law, the Pheu Thai Party has emerged as the front-runner to create a new government.

A joint session of MPs and senators debated the validity of Regulation No. 41 for more than seven hours until the majority of the members voted in favour of the regulation.

The rule forbids resubmitting a resolution that the parliament has already rejected during the same session.

They said that on July 13, when Mr. Pita didn’t win the required majority of votes in the first round, the parliament already rejected a previous motion about his nomination as prime minister.

As a result, Pheu Thai has emerged as the front-runner for forming a government, and all eyes are now on whether the party will continue to be an ally of the MFP under the MoU they signed or whether it will try to form a different coalition by bringing in parties from the departing government and excluding the MFP, according to observers.

The outgoing government’s Bhumjaithai, Palang Pracharath, and Chartthaipattana parties are opposed to the MFP’s proposal to change Section 112 of the Criminal Code, widely known as the lese majeste statute.

Pheu Thai Party leader Cholnan Srikaew

They have made it clear that they will not participate in any government that includes the MFP.

“At this time, Pheu Thai still joins hands with the other coalition allies,” Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew stated following the meeting. I can’t yet say whether the MoU will be changed because the eight coalition allies must first consider the issue. We’ll also talk about inviting more parties.

In addition, Dr. Cholnan stated that the next vote for prime minister will take place on Thursday, according to House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha.

Anutin Charnvirakul, the leader of Bhumjaithai, reaffirmed the party’s opposition to any attempt to change Section 112 on Wednesday.

“I won’t join the coalition if Pheu Thai takes the lead in forming a government if it still includes the MFP, which wants to modify Section 112. A minority administration is something that neither I nor Mr. Anutin want.

Varawut Silpa-archa, the leader of Chartthaipattana, added that the party will not cooperate with the MFP as long as it continues to insist on changing Section 112. When asked if the party will join a new coalition formed by Pheu Thai, Mr. Varawut responded that it was too soon to talk about the subject.

Thailand's Pheu Thai Party Now the Front-Runner to Form a New Government

After Mr. Pita’s renomination was denied, a source at Pheu Thai suggested the party should be given the opportunity to submit its own PM candidate for the following round of voting.

According to the source, Pheu Thai currently has 282 MPs in total from Bhumjaithai, the PPRP, and Chartthaipattana, which is enough backing to form a stable administration. The majority of the 250 senators, who are believed to be tight with PPRP chairman Prawit Wongsuwon, are anticipated to support a candidate for prime minister put up by Pheu Thai, according to the source.

The source stated, “The MFP will not be coerced out of a new coalition [headed by Pheu Thai], but we will allow it decide on its own if it should be a part of the alliance.

Meanwhile, in the event that Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat is unable to win enough support to be named prime minister in parliament on Wednesday, Pheu Thai is prepared to build a different coalition without the MFP and will include parties from the departing cabinet.

The sources claimed that Mr. Pita, the MFP’s lone candidate for prime minister, is up against a number of obstacles and won’t be able to get enough support during Wednesday’s second round of voting.

They claimed the first obstacle is that his detractors, particularly the 250 senators, will invoke parliamentary meeting regulation No. 41, which forbids resubmitting a resolution that has been rejected by parliament within the same session.

The sources added that Srettha Thavisin, one of the party’s three candidates for PM, is anticipated to win the nomination, adding that if denied, the PM vote would have to be rescheduled and Pheu Thai would have the opportunity to submit its own candidate.

According to the sources, the MFP has little chance of joining a new coalition government because the majority of senators have made it plain they would not support the group because of its position on changing Section 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lese majeste statute.

In order to get past this obstacle, Pheu Thai will take the initiative in forming the new government, excluding the MFP while attempting to include some parties from the departing government in the coalition, such as the Bhumjaithai, Palang Pracharath (PPRP), and Chartthaipattana parties, which have a total of about 300 MPs.

If Mr. Pita’s request is rejected today, the sources stated that “this composition is most likely to occur” and that it must be agreed to [by the parties indicated above] and accepted by the senators before the next round of voting.

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