Pita is moving swiftly in his bid to become Thailand’s next PM
Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat is confident he will be elected Thailand’s 30th prime minister, telling a press conference on Thursday that he has multiple plans that will ensure he prevails.
Move Forward will lead an eight-party coalition with a combined 313 seats in the House of Representatives, Pita said.
The number is based on unofficial results from the Election Commission.
All eight parties will nominate him as their sole candidate to be Thailand’s next prime minister, Pita said.
He also thanked the more than 14.2 million Thais who voted for Move Forward, saying each one was voting for change and was motivated by hope for Thailand’s future.
The press conference followed the first in-person meeting of representatives of the eight-party coalition at a restaurant in Bangkok.
Move Forward will lead the coalition. The other members are the Pheu Thai, Thai Sang Thai, Thai Liberal, Prachachart, Fair, Plung Sungkom Mai, and Peu Thai Ruamphalang parties.
The coalition formed two teams. One will oversee negotiations among member parties while the other will ensure a seamless transfer of power from the previous military-backed government to the new civilian-led one, Pita said.
Each team comprises representatives from every party in the coalition.
The goal of both teams is to ensure the stability of the coalition and that all members can work as a team based on shared principles and policy goals.
The new government will prioritise people rather than the number of seats in the coalition, Pita said, adding that it will be honest and serve all Thais.
When asked if he was worried that the military-appointed Senate may be a hurdle in his bid to become prime minister, Pita said he had prepared plans to deal with any scenario.
Under the junta-drafted Constitution, the 250 unelected members of the Senate join the 500 elected members of the House of Representatives to elect a prime minister.
Consequently, Pita needs 376 votes to become prime minister.
The Democrat Party, which is not a member of the coalition, on Wednesday signaled that it will support Pita’s bid to become prime minister.
Pita suggested on Thursday that some senators would vote for him.
Other senators have announced that they will refrain from voting to ensure they remain politically neutral.
Pita also said that all coalition members – including Move Forward – will be required to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will include the details of their policies and the direction they will pursue when they take the helm.
The MoU will be made public on Monday.
Move Forward deputy leader Sirikanya Tansakun will oversee negotiating the details of the MoU with other parties, Pita said.
Asked if MoU includes an amendment of lese majeste law, Pita said it depends on the two negotiating teams.
Move Forward is working to protect the relationship between the monarchy and people, he added.
“So far, everything has gone smoothly,” Pita said.