Move Forward ready to form government, says Pita after encouraging survey results
The leader of Move Forward Party, Pita Limjaroenrat, on Thursday was confident that his party would win as many as 160 MP seats in the May 14 general election to fulfil its goal of forming the next government.
He was responding to results of recent public surveys that showed Move Forward would win 160 out of 500 MP seats up for grabs and that he was the most popular candidate to become the next prime minister.
When asked if he was confident his party would win as many as 160 seats in the House of Representatives, Pita said: “I am increasingly confident and we aim to realise [that figure] so that we can lead a coalition to form [a new] government.”
He said that Move Forward had come this far because of its clear standpoint not to work with political parties linked to “the uncles” – a reference to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Deputy Premier Prawit Wongsuwan – in addition to the party’s 300 policy platforms and hardworking candidates, which make it ready to run the country.
When asked to comment on recent poll results that he is the most popular PM candidate, Pita said he is “increasingly ready” for the job. He thanked the party’s supporters and election candidates for the favourable poll results.
“We have come too far to lose. We will not slow down and we will not be careless. We will work harder and visit the constituents more than before.”
Pita dismissed allegations that the recent surge in popularity among social media users was the work of Move Forward’s supporters involved in information operations (IO). He said the party had also got a warm welcome from local residents during its recent rallies in many provinces.
“They are not doing IO and they are not people in social media. Don’t underestimate the people,” he said.
Regarding Article 112 of the Penal Code on lese majeste, Pita said on Thursday that his party would seek an amendment to the article, and not completely abolish it as alleged.
He also warned that Parliament’s failure to amend the lese majeste law could lead to calls for its abolishment in future.
Move Forward and its supporters – many of whom call for reform of the monarchy – claim that the law has been used as a political tool against government critics.
Pita has been questioned about his stance on the lese majeste law after he had earlier opted for its revocation when asked on stage during a party election rally in Chonburi by political activists Tantawan “Tawan” Tuatulanon and Orawan “Bam” Phuphong.
The duo, who have campaigned against the draconian law, gave Pita a small sticker and asked him to choose between “revocation” and “amendment”. Pita put the sticker on “revocation”.
The Move Forward leader explained on Thursday that his choice of revocation was simply “symbolic”. He also told the audience while on stage that he would seek to amend the law first.
When asked if his act was aimed at pleasing people who are against the lese majeste law, Pita said it was meant to “express his understanding towards them”.
On Thursday, Pita led his party’s rally at Bangkok’s Victory Monument.
He said that his party’s goal was to encourage as many as 80% of the 55 million eligible voters to cast their ballots on election day in order to help strengthen Thai democracy.