Pita urges MPs, and senators to bring back a 'normal' Thailand in Thursday's PM vote

TUESDAY, JULY 11, 2023

Move Forward Party leader and PM hopeful Pita Limjaroenrat called on lawmakers to bring “normalcy” to the country when they vote for the next PM on Thursday.

Pita made the call in a 4.33-minute video clip he posted on Facebook on Tuesday, with the caption: “From Pita to all before the prime minister vote on July 13. Please give Thailand a chance to have a majority government in line with the people’s will and to move forward along the democratic path. Please return normalcy to politics.”

In the clip, Pita reminds lawmakers that the people have clearly expressed their views by electing Move Forward with 14.44 million votes, making it the No 1 party in the House with 151 MPs.

“These voices heard around the country all want to see a changed Thailand,” Pita said in the clip.

He added that he and his party had taken heed of people’s wishes and moved forward to form a coalition with seven other parties. He said his coalition had jointly received 72% of the votes cast on May 14.

“Under a normal political situation, a Move Forward-led coalition government would have run the country and tackled people’s problems. But two months after the election date, the PM vote is just about to come up. And we have to wait for the decision of senators on whether or not we can form a government as per the people’s will,” Pita said.

Seen as a provisional clause to allow coup makers to retain power, the charter requires the PM to be elected with 376 votes from 500 MPs and 250 senators during the first five years of the charter’s enforcement.

The Move Forward coalition commands 312 MPs and will still require 64 votes from either senators or MPs outside the bloc.

“It is clear that Thailand is under an irregular political situation. Governments elected by the people have been toppled again and again by coups, legal wars and party dissolutions. This abnormalcy was brought by the 2017 Constitution, which has remained with us,” Pita said.

He added that the PM’s vote on Thursday would be a chance for Thailand to get a legitimate government that can repair the country in line with people’s expectations. He said this would help take the country down the path of a parliamentary system that people can believe in and place their hopes on.

“The PM vote on July 13 is not one to select Pita or Move Forward, but it will be a vote to ensure that Thailand moves down a normal path of democracy like other democratic nations,” Pita said.

“This vote will affirm that though we are under a charter that favours irregular politics, parliamentarians can use their votes to implement the people’s will. The will was expressed via the election to allow a government to be formed with a majority of people’s representatives.

“I want to use this chance to convey a message to all MPs and senators, that though you may not like our political ideologies. Yet under a normal situation, you can check on me, attack me and even vote me out of office. But voting for a majority government is giving Thailand a chance to move forward as it should,” he said.

In a message to his supporters, Pita said that though they have elected his party, the mission is not over yet. He said the country cannot be changed if he fails to form a majority government.

“I’m ready to become the prime minister of everybody, no matter which parties you have voted for and no matter what your political ideologies are,” he said.

Pita posted the clip amid speculation that the Election Commission (EC) will file a case related to his iTV shares at the Constitutional Court.

The EC dismissed the speculation on Monday, saying it needs to hold two more meetings on Tuesday and Thursday to consider the case. Observers say that if Pita’s case is sent to court before Thursday, the court may suspend him as MP and senators can use this as an excuse to withhold votes for him.