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Thailand’s Prime Ministerial Vote Postponed Amid Uncertainty Over New Government Formation

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Thailand's Prime Ministerial Vote Postponed Amid Uncertainty Over New Government Formation

(CTN News) – A scheduled vote in Thailand’s Parliament to select a new prime minister has been postponed, adding to the uncertainty surrounding the formation of a new government. The delay comes more than two months after the general election, raising questions about when a new administration can take office.

The postponement follows a legal challenge regarding the eligibility of Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat as a prime ministerial candidate for the second time. This article delves into the reasons behind the delay, the political complexities, and the potential candidates vying for the prime minister’s position.

Constitutional Court Decision to Impact Prime Ministerial Vote

The House of Representatives Speaker, Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, announced the postponement of the prime ministerial vote pending a decision from the Constitutional Court.

The state ombudsman sought the court’s ruling on the legality of barring Pita Limjaroenrat from being nominated as a prime ministerial candidate for a second time. Pita had lost the initial vote in Parliament and was subsequently prevented from submitting his name again.

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Political Landscape After May Election

Pita Limjaroenrat’s progressive Move Forward Party emerged as the winner in the May election, securing 312 seats in the 500-member lower house. However, a majority vote from the joint session with the 250-member Senate is required to confirm a new prime minister.

Pita fell short by more than 50 votes due to a lack of Senate support, with only 13 members backing him.

Notably, members of the Senate, appointed by the previous military government, cited Pita’s party’s call for reforming the law against defaming Thailand’s royal family as the reason for their non-support.

Legal Challenge and Coalition’s Response

Following the failed attempt to secure the prime ministerial position, several complaints were filed with the state ombudsman, alleging the violation of the constitution by barring Pita Limjaroenrat from a second bid in Parliament.

Consequently, the coalition assembled by Pita made a significant decision. The Pheu Thai Party, the coalition’s second-largest member, announced its intention to nominate a candidate and take the lead in forming a new government.

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Potential Prime Ministerial Candidates

The Pheu Thai Party is considering three possible nominees for the prime minister’s position. They include real estate tycoon Srettha Thavisin, Paetongtarn Shinawatra (daughter of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a 2006 military coup), and Chaikasem Nitsiri, the party’s chief strategist.

The coalition plans to continue with its original members while attempting to gain support from conservative lawmakers before the next vote. However, the possibility of excluding Move Forward Party from the coalition remains open.

Conclusion:

The postponement of the prime ministerial vote in Thailand’s Parliament has added to the uncertainty over forming a new government more than two months after the general election.

The legal challenge regarding Pita Limjaroenrat’s eligibility for a second nomination and the Senate’s stance against his party’s call for reform has further complicated the political landscape. As the situation unfolds, the coalition led by Pheu Thai Party explores potential candidates while aiming to secure the necessary support for forming the government.

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