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Thailand’s Lawmakers Move to Strip Senate of Power to Select Prime Minister

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Thailand's Lawmakers Move to Strip Senate of Power to Select Prime Minister

On Friday Thailand’s Parliamentary House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha accepted a draught bill from lawmakers that wants to change Section 272 of Thailand’s provisional chapter to strip senators of their rights in selecting the prime minister.

Wan told a group of lawmakers led by secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon that he will urge staff to double-check the draught and the number of MPs who had endorsed it before adding it to the legislative agenda.

Chaithawat stated that the party decided to propose the draught bill to end the political impasse caused by as many as 159 senators not voting in the prime minister selection yesterday and 43 others not attending the joint sitting, which “is a clear indication that they do not wish to exercise their right and authority in the selection of the prime minister.”

The action Forward party’s legislative action is meant to break the impasse and allow Thai politics to go forward so that a new government may be formed as soon as feasible, according to Chaithawat.

He said that the party had drafted the draught law quite some time ago and decided last night to submit it to parliament today, adding that he had already contacted the Pheu Thai party, which had no objections.

He said that the identical draught law was brought to the last legislature and approved by both the Bhumjaithai and Democrat parties.

Because the draught bill proposes to change a single portion of the charter, the party secretary-general believes it will be debated quickly in parliament.

Concerning the appointment of a prime minister, Chaithawat stated that he does not know how many joint sittings will be required to resolve the situation, but added that the party will do everything possible and will consider new solutions.

He further refuted Senator Prapanth Koonmee’s argument that Pita could not be renominated for prime minister, citing Rule 41 of the legislative rules, which specifies that a defeated motion cannot be resubmitted during the same parliamentary session.

He stated that Rule 41 cannot be applied to the Constitutionally mandated nomination of the Prime Minister.


Thailand’s Pheu Thai Party could lead coalition government

Meanwhile, If the Move Forward Party and its leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, fail to win the parliamentary selection of the new prime minister, the Pheu Thai Party has a fair possibility of becoming the leader of a new coalition government, according to a political science expert on Friday.

According to Olarn Thinbangtieo of Burapha University, as the party with the second-highest number of House seats, Pheu Thai will be able to justify a move to take over from the MFP and establish a new coalition, maybe with some other big parties outside the MFP-led alliance.

According to him, the present alliance consists of eight parties, including Pheu Thai.

“All Pheu Thai has to do is wait and see which option is best for it — its own prime ministerial candidate or that of another party [with which it will form a new political alliance],” Mr Olarn explained.

If Mr Pita fails to win the prime minister vote on many occasions, Pheu Thai may have to decide whether to stay with the MFP-led alliance or build a new alliance with parties such as Bhumjaithai or Palang Pracharath, he said.

If Pheu Thai chooses to stay in the same political alliance but seizes the opportunity to propose its prime ministerial candidate in a new prime ministerial ballot, the party may not receive enough votes from the Senate, according to Mr Olarn.

Mr Olarn said the likelihood of MFP supporters coming to the streets after Mr Pita failed Thursday’s vote was low at this stage because Mr Pita has the opportunity to run for prime minister again.

He claimed that the debate before MPs and senators voted on Mr Pita, the lone nominee for the parliamentary selection for the job, was pointless because those who voted had already seemingly made up their minds.

Wanwichit Boonprong of Rangsit University, Stithorn Thananithichot of King Prajadhipok’s Institute, and Thanaporn Sriyakul of Kasetsart University all agreed with Mr Olarn.

They agreed that senators who abstained or voted no in Thursday’s session cited MFP’s opposition to Section 112 of the Criminal Code, also known as the lese majeste law, as the reason they would not back Mr Pita as the country’s new prime minister.

Furthermore, the academics believed Mr Pita and the MFP had no room to back down from their Section 112 stance after making it a central element of their election campaign.

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 Move Forward Party  stands firm on Article 112 amendment

The Move Forward Party (MFP) has vowed that it would not abandon its plan to change Section 112 of the Criminal Code, widely known as the lese majeste statute, claiming that the senators have set a trap for the party.

Chaithawat Tulathon, secretary-general of the MFP, claimed on Friday that he had met with important Pheu Thai members to discuss how to push for MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat to become the next prime minister.

They agreed to continue nominating Mr Pita in a second round of vote in parliament set for Wednesday, he said, adding that attempts will be made to garner more senators’ support for Mr Pita.

Mr Pita’s nomination for prime minister failed to garner enough support in parliament on Thursday.

Section 112 was mentioned as the primary reason for numerous senators’ refusal to support his nomination.

Mr Pita, on the other hand, insisted that the party would proceed with its plan to modify the law, and that he would strive to obtain the necessary support before the next round of voting.

Mr Chaithawat also restated the party’s position on an amended bid on Friday, saying it was one of the promises made before the May 14 election.

“Moreover, even if we announce that we will back down, I doubt senators will vote for Mr Pita.”

“The senators have preconceived notions about us.” Even if they don’t criticise us on the topic [Section 112], they’ll find other reasons to attack us.

“There are reports that old power groups are attempting to exert pressure on and control over senators in order to form an alternative coalition government.”

“Old power groups and major business establishments do not want Move Forward to be the new government,” Mr Chaithawat explained.

Senator Kittisak Rattanawaraha stated on Friday that if Mr Pita is nominated for a second round of voting next Wednesday, the outcome will be the same as it was on Thursday.

Furthermore, the Election Commission petitioned the Constitutional Court last Wednesday to rule on Mr Pita’s eligibility in light of the iTV shareholding incident.

A stakeholder in a media organisation is prohibited by the constitution from running in a general election.

The same court also accepted for consideration a petition filed by lawyer Theerayut Suwankesorn, who claimed that the MFP’s policy of amending Section 112 violates Section 49 of the constitution, which forbids citizens from exercising their rights and freedoms to topple the constitutional monarchy.

“If Mr Pita is nominated again on July 19, he will not receive senators’ votes, and possibly not even the votes of the 13 who voted for him on Thursday,” Mr Kittisak said.

”Instead, the runner-up party should be given the opportunity to select its prime ministerial candidate for the vote,” Mr Kittisak said, referring to the Pheu Thai Party.

He went on to explain that even if the MFP agreed to withdraw its quest to alter Section 112, he would not trust it because the party has been persistent on amending the law for the previous few years.

Another senator, Prapan Koonme, said Mr Pita could not be nominated for a PM vote on Wednesday since he did not garner enough support in Thursday’s vote.

Mr Prapan cited parliamentary rule 41, which states that “any motion that is dropped cannot be resubmitted to parliament during the same parliamentary session, except for a motion that parliament has yet to vote on or a motion that is allowed by the parliament president who decides that the circumstances have changed.”

In light of this, Mr Prapan stated that the regulation also applies to the motion about Mr Pita’s nomination for a vote on Thursday.


The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

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