Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of the Move Forward Party, has failed to gather sufficient votes of 375 from the joint sitting Parliament, resulting in him failing the first round of the prime ministerial vote.
Pita needed at least 375 out of 749 votes from the upper and lower houses to take the Thai Prime Minister office. However, the official results are that the PM-hopeful was only able to gather 324 votes, which was not half of the parliament. Moreover, only 674 parliamentarians were present at the time of voting.
It can be concluded for today that Pita received less than half of the total votes and thereby has not been selected as the country’s 30th Prime Minister. He was the only candidate put forward today, July 13th, 2023.
The second round of voting is scheduled on July 19th, with expectations that the majority coalition will likely decide to nominate other candidates, such as Paetongtarn Shinawatra or Srettha Thavisin from the Pheu Thai Party, the second largest party in the coalition.
Pita is also likely to be nominated a second time, but as many senators, who were appointed by the military junta and not elected like MP’s, balked at both his legal cases and his support to amend, but not abolish, the Lese Majeste law the results are expected to be similar for Pita unless he makes some concessions. Pita has continually stated, however, that dropping his intention of amending the Lese Majeste law is not an option.
Move Forward Party only nominated a single candidate, Pita, so if he is not selected the other options would be in the Pheu Thai party, giving them the PM post. Nominations were made back in April and cannot be adjusted at this point. Only previously nominated candidates can be put forward in Parliament for a vote.
Another option is that the minority parties put forward a candidate, such as Anutin Charnvirakul from third place with MP’s Bhumjaithai Party, but this is an unlikely path.
If the second round of voting is unable to select a candidate a third round will take place on July 20th. Should that fail, further options will be considered and will be discussed at length at that point.
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