Move Forward Party Seeks Senate Support for Coalition

The Move Forward Party (MFP) is attempting to persuade senators to support its leader Pita Limjaroenrat’s bid for prime minister, as it seeks backing from other parties to form a coalition government.

The party has been critical of the coup-appointed Senate and has aimed to “switch off” or eliminate its power to participate in the selection of a prime minister, as specified by the constitution.

However, it has now reversed its stance and needs to seek the Senate’s support.

According to the 2017 constitution, when a joint sitting of the House of Representatives and the Senate is assembled to elect a prime minister, at least 376 votes are required for endorsement.

This means Mr. Pita would need more votes from other parties or senators.

MFP secretary-general Chaithawat Tulathon stated that the party is prepared to meet with senators to address any concerns they may have.

“Senators’ concerns may be unfounded. If we can have a discussion, they should be alleviated,” Mr. Chaithawat said.

“I am confident that there are some senators who are mature enough and wouldn’t want to see a political deadlock,” he added.

Some senators have previously expressed concerns about the MFP’s intention to revise or abolish Section 112 of the charter, which is related to the lese majeste law.

When asked about the House Speaker, Mr. Chaithawat mentioned that a member of the MFP should assume the role since they won the most seats in the House.

Regarding the possibility of approaching the Chartthaipattana Party to form a coalition, Mr. Chaithawat stated that Mr. Pita aims to form a coalition government consisting of five ex-opposition parties and one new party, totaling 310 MPs, with himself as prime minister.

The six parties involved are the MFP, Pheu Thai, Thai Sang Thai, Prachachart, Seri Ruam Thai, and the Fair Party.

A source mentioned that Mr. Chaithawat would meet with key figures from these parties today to discuss the formation of a coalition government.

On Tuesday, Srettha Thavisin, a prime ministerial candidate from Pheu Thai, called on other parties, particularly the Bhumjaithai Party and the Democrats, to support Mr. Pita as prime minister without relying on the support of senators.

Mr. Srettha expressed hope that all parties would honor the public mandate by voting for Mr. Pita.

“I, personally, endorse Mr. Pita of the Move Forward Party to assume the position gracefully,” he wrote.

He noted that many parties, especially Bhumjaithai and the Democrats, had previously voiced opposition to the Senate’s involvement in the prime ministerial vote as empowered by the 2017 constitution.

“Now it is time for you to reaffirm your stance by voting for Mr. Pita as the 30th prime minister in a true democracy, without depending on votes from the 250 senators,” he added.

Responding to Mr. Pita’s call for support from other parties, former House speaker Chuan Leekpai commented, “Don’t expect others to think the same way. Each party can make its own decisions.”

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam stated that a new coalition government could be formed through mutual respect and respectful negotiations.

“Any wish can come true when generosity is offered in exchange,” he added.

“The responsibility of forming the new government now rests with the Move Forward Party, which secured the highest number of House seats,” he stated.

While senators are entitled to their own viewpoints, their positions should be subject to negotiation, he added.

He stated, the Election Commission will verify the election outcomes within a span of two months. Following this, the House will assemble, and the parliament president will be designated.