Pheu Thai delays debut of new coalition after court defers decision on Pita petition
The Pheu Thai Party will delay its announcement of its new coalition partners until the Constitutional Court makes a decision on a petition from the Office of the Ombudsman on August 16.
Pheu Thai deputy leader Phumtham Wechayachai told reporters that the party cancelled a press conference initially scheduled for Thursday afternoon to announce the composition of its coalition.
Phumtham made the statement after Parliament President Wan Muhamad Noor Matha issued an urgent notification to MPs and senators postponing the vote for prime minister scheduled for Friday.
Wan Noor said the PM vote would be delayed until the Constitutional Court made a decision about whether or not it would accept the petition from the Office of the Ombudsman against a parliamentary resolution that blocked the Move Forward Party from nominating its candidate for PM a second time.
The court asked the Office of the Ombudsman to clarify the status of some unnamed complainants it cited in the petition. The court also said it needed more time to study some points in the additional petition that was submitted by the Office of the Ombudsman on July 27.
Phumtham was speaking to reporters after Pheu Thai held an urgent meeting following the court’s announcement.
A Pheu Thai source said the party had so far gathered 263 MPs into its fold and it would need 111 more votes from either senators or other MPs to elect a prime minister.
The source said the Palang Pracharath Party with 40 MPs and the United Thai Nation Party with 36 MPs were not among the coalition partners.
Pheu Thai remains unsure that its candidate for PM, Srettha Thavisin, will receive support from senators because Srettha supported amending the lese majeste law amendment during the campaign ahead of the May 14 election.
“The chance is still low for us to win the PM vote,” the Pheu Thai source said. “We will have to assess the situation comprehensively to ensure Srettha [is] elected PM.”