August 2, 2023
BANGKOK – Pheu Thai PM candidate Srettha Thavisin said that amending the lese majeste law will not be one of his policies if he is nominated as the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
The Parliament is scheduled to convene for a joint sitting on Friday to vote for the next prime minister.
“We need to put Section 112 [of the Penal Code] aside for now if we want the country to march forward and the new government to be formed,” Srettha said on Tuesday.
“Problems related to the economy and people’s livelihoods are Pheu Thai’s top priorities at present. The immediate concern should be improving the economy and keeping people fed,” he added.
Pheu Thai’s biggest economic stimulus policy promised during the election campaign was the 10,000-baht digital wallet scheme, which will cost the state some 560 billion baht.
Under the policy, every Thai citizen aged 16 and above will receive 10,000 baht in a digital wallet. This money can be spent at shops in a 4-kilometre radius of the recipient’s registered address. The money must be spent within six months and only on items necessary for daily life.
Pheu Thai recently took the lead in forming the next government after Move Forward stepped aside after its leader and sole PM candidate Pita Limjaroenrat failed to secure enough votes for the PM’s seat.
Srettha was also responding to comments criticising a video clip of him saying he intended to amend the lese majeste law while campaigning for votes. Some senators have said they will not advocate a PM candidate who supports the defamation of the monarch.
Last month Srettha announced that amending Section 112 should not be the policy of a Pheu Thai-led coalition, because it can prevent it from gaining votes from many MPs and senators.