July 12, 2023
BANGKOK – The three whips have agreed to allocate six hours for debate before MPs and senators vote for Thailand’s 30th premier on Thursday, Parliament President Wan Muhamad Noor Matha said.
He was speaking to reporters on Tuesday after meeting with the whips representing the Senate, the Move Forward-led coalition and parties outside the bloc.
Wan Noor, who is also House speaker, said the three sides had agreed that the voting for the PM would kick off at 5pm. They have also decided to give senators two hours and MPs four hours to debate.
Though there is no time limit set for each MP’s debate, the overall time should not exceed four hours, he said. The whips are yet to decide on the time each speaker will be allocated.
The Move Forward-led coalition will nominate Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat as its PM candidate, though he may face competition from other parties’ nominees.
Wan Noor said he cannot tell if the nominees will be allowed to deliver their visions for the country ahead of the voting. He explained that once the six-hour debate is wrapped up, it would be up to either MPs or senators to propose to the joint sitting whether or not the nominees should present their visions.
The Parliament president also declined to speculate on how many rounds of voting would be held if Pita fails to win the required 376 votes in the first round.
He said he would wait for the first round of voting to be completed first. Also, he said, all decisions would have to be made by the majority of both chambers.
Wan Noor added that he expects the debate to be conducted smoothly as there are already regulations in place to govern the proceedings.
He also said he does not expect any turmoil to brew outside the Parliament Complex as police will be deployed to maintain security.
He added that the debate will be broadcast live on the rally ground provided by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to demonstrators.