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Majority of senators “undecided” about voting for Pita as new Thai PM

Pita Limjaroenrat moves to form coalition

A member of the Thai Senate says most of the 250 senators still haven’t made up their minds when it comes to voting for the new prime minister. Senator Wanchai Sornsiri says most senators are unsure about voting for Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat, for a number of reasons.

Senators have the option of voting for Pita, not voting for Pita, or abstaining, and Wanchai says many senators may only make their decision on voting day. According to a Bangkok Post report, Wanchai says he will vote for the candidate nominated by a coalition that secures over 250 House seats.

The Move Forward Party is part of an 8-party coalition that has 313 House seats and needs at least 376 votes to have their lead elected as Thailand’s new PM. Voting for the PM will be done by a 750-seat joint sitting including both the 500 elected MPs, along with the 250-member senate.

Meanwhile, political activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana has called for Pita to be investigated, claiming he holds over 42,000 shares in media firm, iTV. The Thai constitution currently bars anyone from standing in an election if they own shares in a media company.

However, Wanchai says the Senate is unlikely to be concerned with the matter, saying it will be left to the relevant authorities to decide.

At least one senator has already made up his mind, the Bangkok Post reports. Yesterday, Senator Kittisak Rattanawaraha confirmed he will not be voting for Pita due to a proposal from the Move Forward Party to amend Thailand’s strict lèse-majesté law, a move Kittisak opposes.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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