Cholnan says coalition still lobbying senators to back Pita for PM

TUESDAY, JULY 04, 2023

The Move Forward Party-led coalition has no contingency plan if Pita Limjaroenrat fails to win enough votes from senators to become the next prime minister, Pheu Thai Party leader Cholnan Srikaew said on Tuesday.

Cholnan said the coalition was still in the process of lobbying support from senators to muster the required 376 votes for the election of Pita as prime minister.

“We're still in the process of seeking as many votes as possible to reach the 376-vote requirement,” Cholnan said when asked whether he was confident that the Move Forward-led coalition would have enough votes.

The eight-party coalition commands 312 MPs, so it will require up to 64 votes from 250 senators if other parties do not cast votes for Pita.

It has been speculated that most senators would not vote for Pita on grounds that the Move Forward Party seeks to amend Article 112 of the Criminal Code, which is the lese majeste law. There has been speculation that should Pita fail to receive enough votes, Pheu Thai would seek to lead the coalition and may nominate Pheu Thai PM candidate Srettha Thavisin as the next prime minister.

“I hereby affirm that we have no contingency plan,” Cholnan added.

He said the election of the prime minister might be held in two weeks now that the House has elected its speaker.

The House on Tuesday unanimously elected Prachachart Party leader Wan Muhamad Noor Matha as speaker.

Cholnan said he would like to thank all MPs for supporting the House speaker. “This was a good sign of cooperation in the House,” Cholnan said.