Future Forward wants screening of candidate qualifications before PM election

The Future Forward party has submitted a motion to the House Speaker demanding that the House of Representatives screen the qualifications of all the prime ministerial candidates before the election of a prime minister at the joint session of the House and Senate tomorrow.

The motion was handed to a parliament official by Future Forward secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul.

The Future Forward party’s move was seen as an attempt by the pro-democracy parties to block Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s candidacy for the prime minister’s post by pointing out that he is allegedly not qualified.

The screening session would open an opportunity for the pro-democracy camp to nitpick at Prime Minister Prayut over his close association with the junta.

Citing Articles 59 and 272 of the Constitution, the Future Forward party say there are two steps in the process for the approval of the next prime minister.

The first step is to screen the qualifications of the prime ministerial candidates, and the party insists that the House of Representatives has the exclusive authority to undertake this. The second is the election of the Prime Minister and is the joint responsibility of the Senate and the House.

Prime Minister Prayut, who is not an elected Member of Parliament, was nominated by the Palang Pracharat party and is supported by the party’s coalition.

The Pheu Thai party has withdrawn its own candidates and agreed to throw its support behind Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.

The Democrat party is still undecided whether to nominate former party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, pending the party’s decision this afternoon whether it will join the Palang Pracharat coalition.

If Abhisit is not nominated, it will be a two-horse race between Prayut and Thanathorn for the next premiership.

According to the constitution, a party must command 25 seats, or 5% of the 500 seats in the House, to be eligible to nominate a candidate for the premiership.


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