Senators Remain Uncertain on Backing Pita for Prime Minister

A significant portion of senators remain indecisive about supporting Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat for the prime minister’s position, asserts senator Wanchai Sornsiri.

Sornsiri noted that though senators deliberated on this matter last Friday, their views don’t indicate their definitive position or predict their voting preference.

While the senators have three choices — to vote in favour of Mr. Pita, to vote against him or to refrain from voting — it remains uncertain what most of them will decide, with several anticipated to reach a decision only on the day of the vote, Sornsiri stated.

Sornsiri further confirmed his stance of supporting the candidate for prime minister put forward by any coalition that successfully gathers over 250 seats in the House.

To endorse Mr. Pita’s candidacy for prime minister, the coalition headed by MFP, consisting of eight political parties and holding 313 seats in the House, requires at least 376 votes from the total 750 seats in parliament, which comprises 500 MPs and 250 senators.

Sornsiri expressed that when voting, the Senate is not likely to consider the accusations against Mr. Pita regarding his iTV share ownership, as this issue should be left to the appropriate authorities.

An election contestant is constitutionally prohibited from participating if they possess shares in a media company.

Political activist Ruangkrai Leekitwattana has requested the Election Commission to investigate Mr. Pita, alleging that the MFP leader holds 42,000 shares in iTV.

On Tuesday, Senator Kittisak Rattanawaraha affirmed his decision to vote against Mr. Pita due to his disagreement with MFP’s highly contentious proposal to revise Section 112 of the Criminal Code, otherwise known as the ‘lese majeste’ law.

In the meantime, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam announced on Tuesday that the existing Senate’s five-year term concludes on May 11 next year, making it ineligible to participate in the prime ministerial vote. However, it will continue in its caretaker role.