The re-nomination of Pita Limjaroenrat as the next Thailand’s Prime Minister was blocked as the majority in the parliament voted against his second bid for premiership on Wednesday, 19 July 2023.
The move came after Thailand’s Constitutional Court’s decided to temporarily suspend Pita Limjaroenrat from performing his duties as a Member of Parliament due to the iTV media shareholding case on the same day.
The first bid which happened last week was rejected because most of the junta-appointed senators refused to vote for Pita due to the issues related to Thailand’s Lese Majeste paragraph 112.
“It’s obvious in the current system that winning Thai people’s consensus is not enough to run the country. You need to seek approval from the appointed senators first. And maybe, it would not be enough to run for the second bid of the PM nomination as well,” Pita wrote on his Instagram account a day before the second bid took place.
Unquestionably, the suspension of Pita’s MP duties already caused a significant tension among people who have supported the Move Forward party and been on the democratic side, nevertheless, the failure of the PM re-nomination has drawn more anger and extreme disappointment from the people.
According to Reuter’s exclusive interview with Pita, he shared his response when someone asks him “How do you feel that you have failed?” that,
“I won. I formed, and I got blocked. I didn’t fail. I won the election, I formed the coalition, and I got blocked by the appointed senators, so let’s be clear on that.”
There were protests going on outside of the House of Parliament following the legislative and judicial actions, demanding justice and fairness from Thailand as it is abnormal that the party which won the general election is blocked from completing their responsibilities.
“If we have elections and this is all we get, why don’t you just choose it yourself,” a protestor said late on Wednesday drawing applause from a crowd gathered in central Bangkok wearing black.
Thai users on Twitter were as actively expressing their opinions on the direction that Thai politics is heading and pointed out that “it is unacceptable.”
Furthermore, several Thai actors, actresses, and celebrities also raised their questions on their personal platform if the parliament’s action is considered “legitimate.”
“…Now, it seems like our country is missing something. It’s like it’s missing the essence of democracy that states, ‘The Sovereign Power belongs to all citizens,’” Thai actress and scriptwriter, Arachaporn “Goy” Pokinpakorn posted on her Instagram and the post’s comment section, receiving approximately 300k likes from her total of 2.9 M followers.
The next voting session for a new Thailand’s Prime Minister will be held again next week, said a Deputy Speaker of the House of Parliament, adding that the session cannot include Pita.
It is widely expected that the next PM nomination for premier would be Srettha Thavisin from the runner-up Pheu Thai party, part of Pita’s eight-party coalition.
- Pita Limjaroenrat’s Instagram Post: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cu3p_ElrLBE/
- Pita Interview with Reuters, “Thailand’s Pita hopes second time’s a charm in PM vote”: https://www.reuters.com/video/watch/thailands-pita-hopes-second-times-a-char-idOV792018072023RP1
- Arachaporn “Goy” Pokinpakorn’s Instagram Post: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cu4Fq8NxERi/?img_index=2