MONDAY, April 15, 2024

Senators will wait till the last minute before voting for next PM: Somchai

Senators will wait till the last minute before voting for next PM: Somchai

A senator said he and his colleagues will wait until the last minute to see who is nominated as PM candidate, as it is still uncertain if Move Forward will command a House majority.

Senator Somchai Sianglai said on Monday that Pheu Thai Party supporters are reportedly pushing for it to abandon the potential Move Forward-led coalition. Hence, he said, Move Forward’s standing in the House is still very uncertain.

Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat’s future as the next PM is also shaky, even though he is “identifying himself as the leader of the party with the biggest number of House seats”, Somchai said.

Besides, the senator added, it was still unclear whether senators would go for Pita because of two factors.

The first is that the 14.4 million votes that Move Forward won are not majority votes, as 27 million other voters voted for other parties.

Secondly, Pita is involved in a “sensitive issue”, Somchai said, apparently referring to Move Forward’s vow to push for amendments to Article 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lese majeste law.

The Election Commission has, so far, announced that Move Forward has won 151 seats followed by Pheu Thai, which captured 141 seats.

Though Move Forward has signed a memorandum of understanding with Pheu Thai and six other parties to form a coalition government, the two big parties have been fighting publicly for the post of House Speaker.

Somchai said he believes most senators want to see a smooth transition of power for the benefit of Thailand and its people.

“We support the next government to be formed in accordance with the law, though other factors must be taken into account such as qualification of PM candidates, etc,” Somchai said.