Constitutional Court To Decide on Pita’s Petition Next Thursday

A source disclosed that the Constitutional Court is set to decide next Thursday if it will consider a petition concerning the renomination of Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of the Move Forward Party (MFP), as the Prime Minister.

Earlier this week, the Ombudsman made a request to the court to pass judgement on the refusal of Mr Pita’s renomination, and to instruct the parliament to defer the impending vote for the prime minister.

Numerous complaints had reached the Office of the Ombudsman from the general public and parliamentary members after the joint sitting of MPs and senators turned down Mr Pita’s renomination proposal the previous week, as per the Ombudsman.

The complaints pointed out that the refusal violated the constitution, and the Ombudsman opted to request a legal evaluation and asked the court to delay the prime ministerial vote to avoid potential irreversible harm.

However, another vote that was initially planned to occur today has been deferred by the parliament president Wan Muhamad Noor Matha until the court’s verdict is declared.

On Wednesday, Mr Wan stated that his decision to defer the vote bore no relation to the Pheu Thai’s endeavor to garner support in the parliament for one of its three prime ministerial candidates.

Mr Wan noted that the selection of the prime minister should be on hold as the Ombudsman was pursuing the legal evaluation, and he would arrange a new combined session if the Constitutional Court rejects the petition for consideration.

“It is speculated the court may decide whether to pass a ruling on the petition on Aug 9. If the court throws out the petition, I can schedule a meeting [to elect a prime minister] immediately,” expressed Mr Wan.

“However, parliament must be informed three days in advance,” he continued.

Mr Wan expressed his disagreement with some MFP MPs who intended to request the parliament to reconsider its resolution on Mr Pita’s renomination, implying that the issue should await the court’s ruling.

Democrat Party list-MP Chuan Leekpai mentioned on Wednesday that the selection of the prime minister is expected to be finalized well before the expiration of the five-year term of the military-appointed senators.

He was responding to a suggestion from some minor parties in the MFP-led coalition that the wait should be until the Senate’s term concludes the following May, so the prime ministerial candidate could be voted in by the House of Representatives exclusively.