Anutin says House speaker vote outcome not a pointer to PM’s election
Outgoing Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Tuesday cautioned that the smooth election of the House speaker should not be seen as signifying a similar outcome in the election of the prime minister expected in two weeks.
Bhumjaithai leader and party-list MP Anutin was speaking to reporters after Prachachart Party leader Wan Muhamad Noor Matha was elected unopposed as the House speaker on Tuesday.
The Move Forward and Pheu Thai parties shared the posts of two deputy House speakers in a compromise after weeks of squabbling over the post of House speaker.
“Don’t tie the results of the election of House speaker and two deputies to the PM election,” Anutin told reporters after the first House meeting.
The Move Forward-led coalition commands 312 MPs, making it dependent on 64 votes from senators, if MPs from other parties do not vote for Pita Limjaroenrat, the Move Forward-led coalition’s prime minister candidate.
When asked how Bhumjaithai MPs had voted in the election of the first deputy House speaker, Anutin replied that they were allowed to vote freely as his party had not nominated anyone to contest for the post.
The post of first deputy House speaker was the only one that saw a contest. The Move Forward coalition nominated Padiphat Santipada, Move Forward MP from Phitsanulok, for the post while the former coalition nominated Withaya Kaewparadai, a United Thai Nation Party MP.
In the first test of strength between the two rival sides, Padiphat secured the position with 312 votes; Withaya got 105 votes with 77 MPs abstaining. Two ballots were invalid.
It is expected that the election for prime minister will be held within two weeks.
Anutin said he expected no turmoil when MPs and senators sit to elect the prime minister.