The support for Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of the Move Forward Party (MFP), in his pursuit of the prime minister position, is on the rise among senators.
They credit his popular backing as evidenced in the recent Sunday election and an improved possibility for the MFP to establish a government.
Senator Sathit Limpongpan has committed to backing a government coalition that is successful in gaining over 250 House seats, constituting half of all the contested seats.
He, along with 14 other senators, are reportedly prepared to support Mr. Pita’s aspirations for the prime minister role.
Thus far, an MFP-led coalition has gathered 313 seats from eight different parties in its plan to form a government bloc.
The subsequent objective is to secure at least 376 votes out of the total 750 in parliament, which consists of 500 MPs and 250 senators.
To compensate for this shortfall, the coalition will need to court parties outside their bloc and senators.
Concerns rose due to MFP’s sharp criticism of inter-bloc parties, labeling them as “pro-dictatorship,” along with the coup-appointed Senate.
However, a few members of the Democrat Party, who are not part of the MFP-led alliance, revealed their efforts to support Mr. Pita for the prime minister role in the name of “preserving democracy”.
Mr. Sathit expressed that after listening to the MFP’s policies, he felt they were sufficient to warrant his backing.
Similarly, Senator Prapasri Suchanthabut suggested that she might lend her support to Mr. Pita’s pursuit of the prime minister position.
Senator Wanchai Sornsiri, who is known for his outspokenness, rejected any opposition to Mr. Pita’s bid, clarifying any misconceptions about his stance.
He committed to electing anyone who could command more than half the votes in the House of Representatives for the prime minister role.
Nonetheless, Mr. Wanchai emphasized that he couldn’t represent other senators who might harbor reservations regarding Mr. Pita or the MFP, but believed any issues could be discussed and resolved before the election for premiership in the next two or three months.
Nevertheless, Mr. Wanchai emphasized that he lacked the authority to represent senators who might have doubts over Mr. Pita or the MFP.
However, he believed any issues could be discussed and resolved before the election for premiership in the next two or three months.
One of the main issues that bothers many senators is the MFP’s position on changing or canceling a highly sensitive law called Section 112 of the Criminal Code, also known as the lese majeste law.
Senator Direkrit Jenklongtham declared that he would honour the people’s choice and congratulated Mr. Pita on the MFP’s electoral victory, having secured 151 of the 500 House seats on Sunday.
He advised that Mr. Pita, if possible, should elaborate on the MFP’s position on Section 112 and clearly state if the party plans to alter or abolish the law completely.
In case of any amendments, he added, the party should detail their strategy. The Senate might also request Mr. Pita to provide a clarification, he suggested.