Cholnan vows to help Move Forward muster 376 votes to elect Pita as PM
Pheu Thai Party leader Cholnan Srikaew on Thursday vowed his party will lobby for support from 376 parliamentarians to elect Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat as the next prime minister.
Cholnan made the promise at a joint press conference held by eight parties to announce a coalition government of 313 MPs headed by Move Forward.
“I hereby affirm that we will complete the mission [to get Pita elected as PM]. We will push for 376 votes in Parliament,” Cholnan said.
“Instead of leaving it to any one party, we must help each other to form the government and elect the prime minister of the people,” he added.
To be elected, a PM candidate needs majority support in a vote by 500 MPs and 250 senators.
Cholnan was speaking to reporters at the Okura Prestige Hotel in Bangkok where he, Pita and leaders of six other parties announced their coalition. The six other parties are Prachachart, Thai Sang Thai, Seree Ruam Thai, Fair Party, Plung Sungkom Mai, and Peu Thai Ruam Phalang.
“I can repeat a hundred more times that Pheu Thai supports Move Forward as the coalition leader and supports Pita as the 30th prime minister of Thailand. And we will join in forming a government that will fulfil the people’s dreams,” Cholnan said.
Move Forward would negotiate the key conditions for the coalition, he said, but a common and acceptable stance on the controversial issue of Article 112 must be found.
Move Forward has vowed to amend Article 112, or the lese majeste law, while Pheu Thai wants to leave it intact.
Cholnan said Pheu Thai would offer a solution to the issue of Article 112 later.
Speaking at the same press conference, Thai Sang Thai leader Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan said her party would support Pita as the next prime minister in line with democratic principles and Move Forward’s election win.
She said her party had not yet begun negotiations on the coalition but its representatives would join a committee to draft coalition policies to benefit the people.
She said the drafting of coalition policies was more important than dividing Cabinet seats among coalition partners.
Regarding Article 112, Sudarat said her party has a clear policy to protect the monarchy but does not want to see Article 112 abused as a tool to persecute or eradicate political opponents.
However, the eight parties have yet to discuss a common stand on the issue, she added.