Pita says Move Forward ready to back Pheu Thai nominee if all else fails
Pita Limjaroenrat, Move Forward leader and PM hopeful, called on the public to help him and his party “change the hearts of the senators”.
The Move Forward leader also said that if his party fails to become the leader of the next coalition government, he would allow the second-largest partner Pheu Thai to take over as coalition leader and try to form a new government.
“All Move Forward MPs will be ready to support Pheu Thai’s prime ministerial candidate,” Pita said.
He said supporters should send messages to senators “using every means you can think of” to persuade them to vote for him as Thailand’s next premier, so he can form a government in line with the “voters’ mandate”.
However, he said, the method chosen for conveying such messages should be “constructive”.
He was speaking in a YouTube clip released by the Move Forward Party on Saturday afternoon.
In the video, he said the eight-party coalition led by Move Forward would be “fighting together in two battles” in an attempt to form a “people’s government”.
The first battle, he said, is the next round of voting in Parliament to select a new PM and the second is his party’s push to amend the Constitution and strip senators of the power to select a PM.
“In both battles, we can’t win unless we can change the minds of senators to stand with the people,” he said in the clip.
However, he insisted that he and his party would not give up and asked “everyone to join our fight to the end”.
“The Move Forward Party and I alone can’t change the hearts of the senators to pave the way for a people’s government. We need the force from all of you in this mission,” he said.
“Move Forward’s future in successfully forming the government is now in your hands. Please join us to send messages to senators, so they change their minds,” he concluded.
At the first round of parliamentary vote last Thursday, Pita was the only person nominated for the top job. However, he failed to secure majority support from the 500 MPs and 250 senators, receiving just 324 of the 375 votes required. Of the 705 lawmakers present, 182 voted against Pita and 199 abstained.
The next round of voting is scheduled for next Wednesday. However, some senators have said that nominating Pita again will be tantamount to submitting a repeat motion in a single parliamentary session, which is against the parliamentary meeting regulations.