Wednesday, 4 October 2023

We are shifting our daily news to Gutzy.Asia Support us there!

Thai parliament to hold another PM vote after reformist candidate falls short

BANGKOK, THAILAND — Thailand’s parliament confirmed Friday it would vote again on a new prime minister next week after pro-royalist lawmakers foiled liberal frontrunner Pita Limjaroenrat’s bid for the top job.

Pita’s Move Forward Party (MFP) won the most seats in the May elections, buoyed by young Thais eager for progressive reforms after nine years of army-backed rule.

But the Harvard-educated millionaire’s campaign to lead the next government was knocked back Thursday by the legislature’s military-appointed senators, who consider his pledge to reform the kingdom’s strict royal defamation laws a red line.

And the vote came just a day after the kingdom’s top election body recommended the Constitutional Court suspend Pita as an MP — providing more fuel for senators already poised to vote against him.

Thailand’s parliament will hold its second ballot to elect a new prime minister on July 19, deputy house speaker Pichet Chuamuangphan told AFP on Friday.

“The schedule is the same,” Pichet said, confirming local media reports on when the vote would be held.

Pichet, also a lawmaker for the MFP’s coalition partner Pheu Thai, said it remained unclear whether Pita would be renominated or whether he would face any additional candidates in the next ballot.

“We still have to talk about it first,” he said. “For now, it’s gathering opinions and feedback from the people.”

Pita has insisted that he remains a candidate to lead the next government and was “not giving up” despite taking only 324 votes overall — well short of the 375 he needed.

Just 13 senators voted for the progressive candidate, with many voicing their opposition to MFP’s platform on reforming the country’s strict royal defamation laws.

‘Abuse of power’

Pita rode a wave of support that saw voters emphatically reject almost a decade of army-backed rule under Prayut Chan-o-cha, who took power in a 2014 coup.

But the outcome had become increasingly inevitable, with signs conservative MPs of the lower house and junta-appointed senators would not give him their support.

The MFP’s reformist agenda has drawn objections from conservatives and the country’s powerful establishment.

The party’s plans to shake up business monopolies are similarly unpopular with the old guard.

On Wednesday the EC recommended Pita’s suspension from parliament over allegations he broke campaign rules — a move the MFP branded as an “abuse of power”.

The recommendation followed a probe into Pita’s ownership of shares in a media company, prohibited under Thai law.

The station has not broadcast since 2007, and Pita has said the shares were inherited from his father.

Pita’s MFP was the only party that campaigned on tackling the thorny issue of the royal defamation laws, but that too landed it in trouble.

The Constitutional Court accepted a case alleging that the promise amounts to attempting to “overthrow” the constitutional monarchy. The party has two weeks to present their defence.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Latest posts

Election surprises and certainties: Dissecting Tharman’s presidential win

In the 2023 Presidential Election, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam secured a stunning 70.4% landslide victory, surprising many, including himself. Despite expectations that TKL would win the opposition votes, voters from both camps showed a preference for Tharman's charisma and perceived competency. As Singapore reflects on the outcome, questions arise about the election's fairness and the real implications of Tharman's dominant win.

Volunteer as a Polling and Counting Agent for Singapore’s 2023 Presidential Election

For the upcoming Singapore Presidential Election on 1st September, members of the civil society have spearheaded an initiative to strengthen our democratic fabric. We invite committed individuals to join us as Polling and Counting Agents, standing together for a transparent, fair, and just election. This vote counting exercise, organized by members of civil society, is not specifically in support of Mr Tan Kin Lian, a candidate in the upcoming Presidential Election. It's an exercise in active citizenry. Nonetheless, Mr Tan endorses this initiative, which hinges on his candidacy, championing transparency, and has given permission for the results to be shared publicly.

Reflections from the Centenary: The Legacy of LKY and Singapore’s Future

Gilbert Goh reflects on the LKY centenary event: an inspiring showcase of a leader's global legacy juxtaposed against current challenges, urging Singapore to continue its path of progress.

Lim Tean advocates for Tan Kin Lian: A visionary leader for Singapore’s Presidency

In his speech at Mr Tan Kin Lian's launch of his presidential bid, Mr Lim Tean passionately championed the need for a truly Independent President. Highlighting Mr Tan Kin Lian's unique credentials and genuine concern for the wellbeing of Singaporeans, the Peoples Voice leader emphasized the pressing challenges of rising living costs and job insecurities faced by the public. Mr Lim depicted Mr Tan Kin Lian as a beacon of hope for the nation, advocating for a leader who genuinely understands and represents the people’s aspirations.

Tan Jee Say endorses Tan Kin Lian for President: A courageous, genuine, and humble...

In advocating for a truly representative leader, Tan Jee Say underscored Tan Kin Lian's humility, courage, and genuine dedication. Highlighting the pressing need for restored public trust and effective independence, Tan Jee Say emphasized that Tan Kin Lian, as the 'People's President', would bring back hope to Singaporeans and champion true democracy

Tan Kin Lian’s pledge: Rekindling unity and charting a vigorous future for Singapore

In the press conference to announce his bid for the Singapore presidency, Tan Kin Lian emphasizes safeguarding Singapore's reserves and strengthening public service integrity. Drawing on his 30-year leadership at NTUC Income, he envisions a future with affordable living, accessible housing, and job stability, pledging collaboration with the government for a united nation.

Strengthening Singapore’s political foundations: A call to action by Leong Mun Wai on Singapore’s...

Leong Mun Wai urges Singaporeans to strengthen political checks and balances, emphasizing, 'The best is yet to be for Singapore if we dare to make the right decision in upcoming elections.

Trending posts