Senator Says Pita to Gain Fewer Than Five Votes in PM Election

Pita Limjaroenrat, the Move Forward Party’s (MFP) head and candidate for prime minister, is expected to gain less than five votes from the Senate in the upcoming prime minister parliamentary election, as revealed by a senator.

The situation is clear, and attracting five or more votes from the pool of 250 senators will be a challenging task for Mr Pita, stated Kittisak Rattanawaraha, the deputy chairman of the Senate committee on political development and public participation,  on Wednesday

He also mentioned that a majority of the senators appointed by the coup have apparently decided to either vote against Mr. Pita or remain neutral.

The senator hinted that Mr. Pita might not be the only contender in the race. The voting is set to happen on July 13.

Parties securing a minimum of 25 House seats have the privilege to nominate up to three candidates. “I’m on the side of democracy with the King as head of state,” Mr. Kittisak declared.

The MFP is committed to advocating for an amendment to Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lese majeste law. This is thought to be the main reason why many senators are not supporting Mr. Pita’s prime ministerial aspirations.

He also mentioned that in case the MFP, which secured 151 House seats in the May 14 election, fails to establish a new coalition, the second-best performing party should step in to form a coalition government, referring to the Pheu Thai Party with its 141 MPs.

Despite this, Mr. Kittisak confirmed that the Senate will not meddle with the ongoing efforts to establish a new government.

“I’ve made it clear from the beginning that a minority government is highly unlikely,” he stated.

Reports suggest that a few parties from the previous government may attempt to create a government within their circles, despite being in the minority.

For one to be elected as prime minister, they need at least 376 votes from either MPs alone or a combination of MPs and senators. The parliament consists of 750 members – 500 MPs and 250 senators.

Mr. Kittisak warned that some level of political turbulence is likely, regardless of who is elected as the new national leader.

On Tuesday, Mr. Pita stated that he has adequate Senate backing to secure his prime ministerial post.

He expressed hope that the Senate would respect the principle of not acting against the public’s will.