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Senators slow to warm to Pita’s PM bid

BANGKOK: Senators have expressed mixed opinions on whether to support Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of the Move Forward Party, which won the most House seats in Sunday’s election, to become the next prime minister.

By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 17 May 2023, 09:57AM

Photo: Bangkok Post

Photo: Bangkok Post

Senator Peeraksak Porjit said that it is up to parties to gather enough support to nominate a prime ministerial candidate for a vote in parliament, reports the Bangkok Post.

“Senators will also consider who they will nominate and whether the candidate is suitable,’” Mr Peerasak said, adding that senators should not abstain from voting.

Asked to comment on Mr Pita’s suitability, Mr Peerasak said that first, the parties with the most seats must drum up support for their choices before senators examine the qualifications of each candidate and the policy platforms that saw them voted into parliament.

“In principle, senators should respect the decision of the majority of MPs,” he said.

Senator Jetn Sirathranont echoed the sentiment.

“The poll result shows that people would want [senators] to vote for candidates either from the MFP or Pheu Thai.

“The political party that wins the most seats has the right to gather support and form a government first. If it fails, the party that wins the second-largest number of seats will be given a chance,” he said.

Senator Wallop Tangkananurak also said he shares that belief and is ready to support a candidate nominated by a party that can gather the support of more than 250 MPs.

However, he said he was baffled by an about-face by the MFP, which had earlier tried to “switch off” or remove the Senate’s power to join MPs in selecting a prime minister in parliament.

“But they [the MFP] are now calling on senators not to abstain from voting and instead support its prime ministerial candidate?” Mr Wallop said.

However, Jadet Insawang insisted that he would not vote for Mr Pita if he was nominated.

“Mr Pita has been attempting to scrap Section 112 [the lese majeste law], and that is unacceptable,” the senator said.

Meanwhile, Senator Seree Suwanpanont said he wanted the MFP to clarify its aim as to whether it would scrap the law entirely, as “There are several parties that disagree with the move to revise Section 112”.

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Capricornball | 17 May 2023 - 17:44:45

Old guy, I think you are confused about Kurt's comment. The puppet senators are using the LM card as a reason to not vote for the leader of the MFP to be the next PM. Ideally, a new coalition gov't would be able to amass 379 votes, thus rendering the senators irrelevant. It seems that these regime-appointed Senators represent everything wrong with the current government.

Old guy | 17 May 2023 - 14:58:11

@Kurt-you are so confused. 112 has nothing to do with the 250 pretend Senators. They are in Prayut's Constitution just for moments like this. 
The question is if Prayut will use them. 

Kurt | 17 May 2023 - 11:28:50

It would be strange that 250 appointed  'army senators', who never worked up themselve in the country's political arena, perhaps can block a PM nomination, against the will of the people. Playing the section 112 LM card is just a stick to hit the dog. The very well knowledge of mis use of section 112 can use a fair modernisation ( not scrapping) with full respect for the Royal House. 


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