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Lese majeste stance could sink Dems’ PM vote

Lese majeste stance could sink Dems’ PM vote

BANGKOK: The Democrat Party are mulling over whether its members should elect Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat as prime minister and whether any support should be conditional based on how the lese majeste law is to be handled.

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 18 May 2023, 07:04AM

Pita Limjaroenrat. Photo: Bangkok Post

Pita Limjaroenrat. Photo: Bangkok Post

Chanin Rungsaeng, a former Democrat executive, said party members would have no problem electing Mr Pita as prime minister so long as the MFP promises not to abolish the lese majeste law, reports the Bangkok Post.

In a Facebook post yesterday (May 17), he didn’t object to any Democrats supporting the leader of the party that won the most votes to be prime minister.

However, the MFP must give its word not to repeal Section 112 of the Criminal Code - the lese majeste law. He added there must be no amendment to Section 112 that would permit anyone to insult the monarchy. The MFP captured 151 MP seats and was the biggest winner in Sunday’s election.

Mr Pita is mobilising support from fellow opposition parties, including Pheu Thai, to form a new government with him as prime minister. However, support from the bloc alone will not be enough for him to be made prime minister unless the MFP reaches out to some senators and parties in the current government and obtains their backing.

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Some members of the Democrats, a coalition partner in the government camp, have suggested their party vote in favour of Mr Pita to be premier. Mr Chanin suggested there is an advantage to the Democrats and other parties rallying behind Mr Pita’s bid for the premiership. It might thwart what he sees as the Senate’s illegitimate exercise of power to co-elect Mr Pita as prime minister.

Mallika Boonmeetrakul Mahasuk, another former Democrats executive, said she felt the 25 Democrat MPs should be free to decide how they will vote in the Pita bid.

Alongkorn Ponlaboot, acting Democrat deputy leader, said he’d ask the party at its meeting next week to unconditionally support Mr Pita for the premiership. The Democrats should do their part to break any impasse that might occur in selecting the new PM, he said. Mr Pita needs at least 376 votes from MPs alone or from the MPs and senators combined to win the prime ministerial nomination.

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Kurt | 21 May 2023 - 00:14:16

Jor12 seems not to know that in 1992 Thailand signed/ratified "The right of the Children Treaty". Right of children to demontrate, freedom of expression, etc.. I know 1992 will probably not remembered anymore in Thailand, were normally yesterday is already forgotten. But thai as being paper tigers could dig up that treaty paper.  :-) Respect the treaty or withdraw.

christysweet | 20 May 2023 - 22:26:03

No country can aspire to democracy when  legitimate 
 polital discourse or expression of  disagreement is cause  for incarceration.  

Jor12 | 20 May 2023 - 14:53:09

Kurt...In Thailand is is a criminal offence, not the subject of tort law.

Jor12 | 20 May 2023 - 14:49:57

Kurt...read the comment, "No country can aspire to 'democracy' when criticism is outlawed." Nothing to do with children, but democracy. 

Kurt | 20 May 2023 - 10:39:41

Jor12 should compare thai authocratic defamation law, and the mis-use of it, with democratic European Kingdom's defamation laws. There, no children of 14-16 years go 51 days in prison and come out in terrible medical condition, skin diseases due to polluted water, heat, and unhygienic prison conditions. So well known in Thailand.(International press reports about this girl's imprisonment)

Jor12 | 19 May 2023 - 13:40:46

Christy...Tort law in democracies have what is termed "defamation." Seems to work ok and not a hinderance to democracy.

christysweet | 19 May 2023 - 10:10:57

No country can aspire to 'democracy' when criticism is outlawed  PERIOD. Problem is - once certain info is public,  huge damaging  upheavals.  It's called revolution and there really is no avoiding it. 

Old guy | 18 May 2023 - 20:30:06

You all miss the point. Pita has 309 votes. He needs 67 more. These have to come from the remaining opposition parties, or from the 250 "Senators" that Prayut wrote in to the sham Constitution of 2017 just for this reason. 
The real question is wether Prayut wants to stop being PM. 

Fascinated | 18 May 2023 - 11:08:33

This is BS- he has never said 'abolish' but talked about 'reform' the Old Guard are twisting this to mess him up. UK monarchy reformed years ago and its likely they will do more- it did them no harm. Why are the Old Guard so worried about their nest being re-feathered?

Kurt | 18 May 2023 - 10:43:41

'Politicians', specially not elected Senators should stop mulling about PM choosing. Instead they should read today's postbag (BP): ...'Kingly Advice'...    They should confirm themself to what His majesty said about LM, section 112. Shame on who wants to try to mis-use section 112 for sake of personal advantage or sabotage Thailands forwarding.

JohnC | 18 May 2023 - 08:40:36

Sadly it appears the old guard still think that a law from hundreds of years ago invented by the French  monarchy to stop anybody speaking out truthfully about them should be still used today shows just how outdated they really are. That it is used as a threat during an election not to vote for their party if changes are made really is backward thinking. Stop living in the past!


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