11 July 2024

Encouraged by extremely-positive signs for his party in Sunday’s general election, Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat has reiterated that his party will go ahead and push for a reform of the lese majeste law or Article 112 which is part of its campaign pledges.

As of 10 minutes before midnight Sunday, the Election Commission has counted 73.93% of the votes and Move Forward and Pheu Thai were reported to be running neck and neck with 113 constituency seats each, followed by Bhumjaithai’s 64.

Move Forward was ahead of Pheu Thai in party list counts, meaning the former could emerge the election winner, despite all claims of a Pheu Thai landslide.

Short of declaring an election victory, Pita said he will give priority to political parties which are Move Forward’s partners in the opposition bloc in forming a post-election coalition.

“And if Move Forward Party emerges the top winner of the election, I will be prime minister,” he said at a late-night press conference.

Pita said judging from the election vote returns, there is no room for attempts to form a minority government by parties in the current coalition led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Official vote returns reported by the Election Commission at press time show Move Forward Party and Pheu Thai Party are neck-and-neck in leading the poll.

In answering a question, Pita said former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has the right to return to Thailand from his exile and given a fair legal trial.

Pheu Thai’s Paetongtarn Shinawatra, who looked tense after the polling stations closed, did not give up hope of her party emerging the eventual winner, saying the vote counts still continued.