Tensions Between Pheu Thai and the Move Forward Party
As Thailand’s political landscape continues to evolve, Pheu Thai, the primary opposition party, has grown impatient with the Move Forward Party (MFP) and its leader Pita Limjaroenrat’s efforts to secure the prime minister position. Pheu Thai deputy leader Phumtham Wechayachai expressed his concerns about the economic problems facing the nation, which cannot wait for the MFP to keep nominating Pita. He highlighted that Pheu Thai has three prime ministerial candidates ready for the job.
Constitution Amendment and Senators’ Voting Rights
Pita made his path to the prime ministership more challenging when he announced intentions to amend the constitution. The amendment would remove the appointed senators’ right to participate in the vote for prime minister along with the elected members of the House of Representatives. Out of the current 249 senators, only 13 voted to support Pita for the premiership on July 13th.
Phumtham believes that Pita should not indefinitely continue the MFP’s campaign to have him elected prime minister and to revoke senators’ right to vote for a prime minister. If it fails twice to get Pita elected, this would allow Pheu Thai to take the lead in forming the new government.
Eight Party Alliance and Challenges to Forming the Government
“The goal of the eight political parties is to speed up the formation of the new government,” Phumtham said, referring to the alliance that includes MFP and Pheu Thai. However, ending senators’ right to vote for the prime minister was not part of the memorandum of understanding approved by the eight parties.
Phumtham warned that if they cannot reach an agreement on the issue of the prime minister, other parties may form a minority government. These other parties had 188 votes and could win the support of the 249 senators, giving them a majority vote from both chambers.
Pheu Thai’s Prime Ministerial Candidates
Pheu Thai remains committed to maintaining the eight-party coalition but seeks a clear answer rather than continuing the voting process for the prime minister without a solution for the country. “We cannot wait until next year because national problems are now very serious,” Phumtham said. “Do not worry about Pheu Thai’s candidates. We have three candidates. When things are clear, we can make a nomination right away.”
The candidates for the top job from Pheu Thai are Paetongtarn Shinawatra, Srettha Thavisin, and Chaikasem Nitisiri. When asked about a senator’s promise to vote for a Pheu Thai candidate if MFP is excluded from the coalition, Phumtham acknowledged that this was another factor for consideration.
The Path Forward for Thai Political Parties
As the political landscape in Thailand remains uncertain, it is crucial for the eight-party alliance to find common ground and work together to form a government that can address the country’s pressing issues. The impatience of Pheu Thai and their prime ministerial ambitions, along with the constitutional changes proposed by Pita, add further complexity to the situation. The parties must navigate these challenges to ensure a stable and effective government for the people of Thailand.