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Thailand’s political deadlock persists as Parliament postpones prime ministerial vote

Thailand’s political deadlock persists over two months after the General Election, as the parliament postpones a decisive vote for a new prime minister. Reformist candidate Pita Limjaroenrat’s path to premiership is blocked amidst constitutional disputes and opposition from military and pro-royalist senators, casting uncertainty over the country’s political future.



BANGKOK, THAILAND: More than two months after the Thailand General Election, Thailand’s political deadlock continues, with the parliament postponing a crucial vote to choose a new prime minister.

The election, won by opposition parties, has been marred by challenges and obstacles, leaving the country in a state of uncertainty.

The Reformist candidate, Pita Limjaroenrat, representing the party that emerged victorious in the election, faced a setback during the first parliamentary sitting to select a prime minister on 13 July.

His bid was thwarted by military and pro-royalist senators, who blocked his path to premiership. Subsequently, Pita was denied a second ballot on 19 July. However, this decision is now under review by the Constitutional Court, leading to further delays in the political process.

House speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha revealed that the new vote for the prime minister, initially scheduled for Thursday, had to be postponed pending the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the matter.

The involvement of the Ombudsman, who plans to send a case to the court, made it crucial for the parliament to wait for a definitive verdict before proceeding with the vote.

Pita Limjaroenrat’s Move Forward Party (MFP) had gained momentum during the election, garnering support from the young and urban demographic, who were eager for change.

However, their progressive agenda, which included plans to reform the strict royal defamation laws and address monopolies, sparked intense opposition from the conservative establishment.

Despite the postponement, Pita remains determined and committed to his cause. In response to the situation, he stated, “There is not much I can do but to be back on the ground and spend most of my time there,” indicating his continued dedication to his party’s principles.

Adding to Pita’s challenges, he was faced with a Constitutional Court case, suspended him as an MP due to his ownership of media shares, which is prohibited for lawmakers under Thai law.

This development further complicated the situation for his eight-party coalition, prompting them to explore alternative options.

The coalition has decided to support the nominee from partner Pheu Thai, the party that secured the second position in the May election. Pheu Thai, often associated with the Shinawatra political clan, whose members include two former prime ministers ousted by military coups, has yet to formally announce its candidate for the prime ministerial position.

To become the prime minister, a candidate must receive approval from a majority of both houses of parliament—the 500 elected MPs and the 250 senators appointed by the previous junta. Pita received 324 votes across the two houses in the first ballot, with only 13 senators supporting his candidacy.

In the aftermath of the first vote, Pheu Thai initiated talks with several parties, including pro-military groupings that had been part of the coalition government before the election. Their aim was to gather more support from senators and secure the required 375 votes for a majority.

Property tycoon Srettha Thavisin, previously named as one of Pheu Thai’s three prime ministerial candidates during the election campaign, is expected to be nominated for the position in the upcoming vote.

However, the party faces a challenging dilemma concerning its coalition, as conservative forces vehemently refuse to collaborate with any government that includes the MFP.

The situation remains fluid, and Thailand’s political landscape is poised for further developments as the Constitutional Court’s decision looms and coalition dynamics continue to play out.

The prolonged political deadlock has raised concerns about the country’s stability and its ability to address pressing issues in a timely manner.


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