The leader of the Move Forward Party says he and his fellow MPs are confident he’ll receive enough votes to become Thailand’s next prime minister. Yesterday, June 27, Pita Limjaroenrat arrived at Parliament with 150 Move Forward MPs to report themselves to the Secretariat of the House of Representatives, according to a Phuket Express report.
Pita says he’s optimistic that Move Forward and its 7 coalition partners have received enough votes from senators to enable him to take the top job. He was responding to a comment from one senator who claims only 5 out of 250 senators will cast their vote in favour of Pita.
The 8-party coalition hoping to form the next government currently has 312 MPs. For Pita to become Thailand’s next leader, he needs an extra 64 votes to bring him to the required 376 votes. Selection of the country’s 30th prime minister is expected to take place sometime around July 13.
Move Forward’s pledge to reform Thailand’s lèse-majesté law continues to haunt Pita, with senators repeatedly citing it as a reason they won’t vote for him. The law, also known as Section 112 of the Criminal Code, prohibits criticism of the monarchy.
Pita insists that any amendment to the law would only be to prevent it being used as a political tool, which critics of the outgoing administration have accused them of doing. The Move Forward leader says his party has no intention of abolishing the law, but seeks merely to amend it. He warns senators not to use the law to ignore the will of the people.
“The senators should not use this as an excuse not to vote for me because it would create a conflict between the people’s votes and the royal institution, which is both inappropriate and perilous.”
SOURCE: The Phuket Express