Srettha Assures Pheu Thai Party Won’t Touch Lese-Majeste Law

The Pheu Thai Party commits to firmly oppose alterations to the lese-majeste law should it ascend to power, according to the party’s prime ministerial nominee, Srettha Thavisin.

He also indicated that the composition of a potential Pheu Thai-led government remains undecided.

Srettha clarified that if Pheu Thai puts forward its prime ministerial nominee during the joint sitting of the House and Senate on July 27, the party would completely rule out the prospect of modifying or abolishing Section 112 of the Criminal Code.

“Otherwise it will not receive support from political parties and senators. … If we take the lead, this matter must stop,” he affirmed.

The general consensus is that Srettha is the leading candidate for the Prime Minister’s position after Pita Limjaroenrat, head of the election-winning Move Forward Party, was unable to secure majority support from the House and Senate on July 13.

Opponents voiced their objections to Move Forward’s resolution to reform the lese-majeste law in the debate preceding the vote.

Mr Pita’s second attempt to clinch the Prime Minister’s position was terminated on Wednesday after the legislative body ruled that their guidelines forbid reiteration of nominations. This decision sets a precedent for future nominations by Srettha and others.

The constitution permits the 249 appointed senators to cast a joint vote for a prime ministerial candidate alongside 500 elected members.

Numerous senators have explicitly stated they would not back a nominee from a coalition that includes Move Forward unless the latter removes Section 112 from their agenda.

Nonetheless, Srettha expressed optimism that with constructive discussion, senators would stand firmly behind a Pheu Thai-led government.

When questioned about the inclusion of Move Forward Party in the coalition, he stated that would be determined by the negotiators.

For now, the former real estate mogul said he was respecting the shared ambition of eight political parties to establish the succeeding government.

Pheu Thai and Move Forward , possessing a combined total of 292 seats, are essential members of the eight-party coalition alliance, which altogether has 312 MPs.

Srettha anticipated that coalition-building discussions among the eight parties would recommence either on Thursday evening or Friday.

Asked if Mr Pita’s pursuit to become the prime minister had reached its conclusion, Srettha confirmed it had, based on relevant legal factors.

He expressed disappointment over Wednesday’s vote against Mr Pita’s renomination during the joint session “but we have to acknowledge this and progress.”

As a prime ministerial nominee, Srettha acknowledged his responsibility to champion economic growth, alongside constitutional amendments.