July 20, 2023
BANGKOK – After more than eight hours of debate, 395 of 715 parliamentarians voted that renominating Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat as PM candidate violates Parliament regulation No 41.
The regulation forbids the resubmission of a motion that has already failed in a session.
The vote was called by Parliament President Wan Muhamad Noor Matha in line with regulation No 151, which allows a vote if there is a dispute over the interpretation of parliamentary rules.
The issue of whether Pita can be renominated was put up for debate after Move Forward members insisted it does not violate regulation No 41, while other parliamentarians insisted it did.
Wan Muhamad opened the joint session at about 9am.
Pheu Thai MP Sutin Klangsang proposed Pita as the candidate for the prime minister and as many as 299 MPs endorsed his nomination although the Constitution requires only 50.
After that, senators and MPs from parties outside the eight-party collation objected, stating that Pita’s renomination violated Parliamentary Rule No. 41.
Senator Seree Suwanpanont and MP Akaradej Wongpitakroj from the United Thai Nation Party were two prominent lawmakers opposed to Pita’s nomination.
Move Forward MP Rangsiman Rome said in response that the Parliament was in the process of nominating Pita as premier and was not resubmitting a motion.
The debate became increasingly heated as members from both sides took turns voicing their opinions. Some MPs asked the speaker to employ rule No 151 to resolve this issue.
Eventually, Wan Muhamad decided to open voting on a motion against the renomination of Pita.
As a result, 395 lawmakers opposed Pita’s renomination, while 312 supported it. Eight abstained, and one did not vote. Pita needed at least 375 votes.
Move Forward secretary-general Chaitawat Tulathon said after the meeting that the outcome was not unexpected, adding that Move Forward and Pheu Thai will later discuss the nomination of a new candidate.
Chaitawat said that Pita is still in high spirits despite being barred from carrying out his MP duties.
The Constitutional Court earlier today suspended Pita as an MP over allegations that he owns shares in a media firm. Pita has denied the allegations.