Uncertainty Remains on Srettha Securing Enough Senator Votes

Amidst the current political turmoil, observers are uncertain whether the country’s 30th prime minister will be elected on Tuesday.

The Pheu Thai Party which is responsible for establishing a new government has now garnered support from the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party. The party has consented to ally with Pheu Thai and endorse its prime minister nominee, Srettha Thavisin.

Earlier, 40 MPs from the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) also pledged their support for the Pheu Thai’s PM pick, although a formal statement from the PPRP remains pending. Yet, the backing of Mr. Srettha by the 250 senators remains uncertain.

Some senators have raised doubts about his competence, fueled by whistleblower Chuvit Kamolvisit’s revelations regarding alleged inconsistencies at property giant Sansiri during Mr. Srettha’s tenure as CEO.

Several senators also expressed oppositions about Pheu Thai’s initiative for constitutional reform once the new government is inaugurated.

As per the existing constitution, a PM nominee requires the backing of a minimum of half the 750 members from both the lower and upper parliamentary chambers, totaling 376 votes.

Yutthaporn Issarachai, a political science educator at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, anticipates Mr. Srettha garnering support from both UTN and PPRP during Tuesday’s PM election.

However, the senators’ stance on supporting him remains ambiguous, remarked Mr. Yutthaporn.

“There are several factors, particu- larly the allegations made by Mr Chuvit,” he commented. “These will put pressure on Pheu Thai. Its PM candidate will only have one chance during the vote.”

He referenced a past instance in parliament when an attempt to renominate Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat was declined during a joint session on July 19.

Opponents reasoned it violated regulation 41 of the parliament, which disallows renomination of a previously rejected proposal in the same session.

Mr. Yutthaporn mentioned the current political scene features four potential PM candidates from three parties: Mr. Srettha and Paetongtarn Shinawatra from Pheu Thai; Gen Prawit Wongsuwon from PPRP and Anutin Charnvirakul of the Bhumjaithai Party.

If Mr. Srettha isn’t chosen, Pheu Thai’s next move regarding nominating Ms. Paetongtarn remains uncertain.

Lt Gen Nanthadet Meksawat, the ex-chief of the special operations at the National Security Centre, expressed on Facebook his doubt about Mr. Srettha’s chances of receiving parliamentary endorsement on Tuesday, especially after Mr. Chuvit’s actions.

Senator Jadet Insawang previously remarked that numerous senators have questioned Mr. Srettha’s suitability following allegations by Mr. Chuvit.

While commenting live on Facebook, Jatuporn Prompan, ex-leader of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, expressed doubts about Mr. Srettha’s chances, believing senators won’t back him.