6 June 2024

6.25pm – Pita’s ambition to become Thailand’s next prime minister was shot down after he lost a historic vote in a joint sitting MPs and Senators on Thursday. Votes in favour were 324, against were 182. There were 199 abstentions. He needs at least 375 votes to become the premier.

5.55pm – A historic election for the country’s premiership finished.

3.50pm – House speaker Wan Muhamad thanks all for joining the debate and said that the debate went well. He then announced that the election of the premier will be conducted openly and by roll-call in alphabetical order. Each member of the House and the Senate will be called one by one and they will express their vote from their seats.

3.20pm – After listening in Parliament for hours to both criticism of and support for his premiership, Pita recounts his past when he had worked with MPs and Senators. He says he knows that many in the House are still having doubts about him, particularly over changes to the lèse majesté law. He claims that they have the same objectives concerning the issue, namely that the monarchy should not be dragged into the problems and the politics only for one’s own benefit.
He claims that he is just attempting to reset the relationship between the monarch and people.

There have been attempts to block him from the premiership, only because those behind the attempts did not want to lose control and their own benefits. He proposes himself again to be the new leader under the present circumstances. He urged people to work together instead of fighting on the streets.

“Dear MPs and the Senate, what we are going to do is not to vote for Pita Limjaroenrat to be the premier but to work together for Thailand to move forward for the benefit of the people. I would like to invite all of you not to use your doubts to block the attempts to move the country forward, please vote for me. Thank you,” Pita says.

1.45pm –  Senator Seree Suwanpanont says he and many of his colleagues believe that Pita is not qualified to be the premier because of his ownership of ITV shares and his campaign promise to review the lèse majesté law. The senator added that Pita should not claim that his party is entitled to form the government, with him as the prime minister, because his party won the most seats in the House. The party alone could not form a government, without the votes of the Pheu Thai party.  Pita’s supporters have strongly criticised the Senate which, Seree said, he can tolerate only to protect the country and the monarchy.

12.39pm – Pita says he wishes to represent Thailand at the General Assembly of the United Nations this September, in order to inform the world that, with the new government, Thailand is “back”. He added that the foreign policies under his leadership will find balance in relationships with other countries, especially the super powers. Thailand will know when to speak out and when to stay silent, Pita says. Commenting on criticism that his party supported separation of the country’s three southernmost provinces, Pita reiterated that he supports Thailand as a one country.

12.27pm – Democrat MP Chaichana Detdecho repeats others’ views about Pita, saying he and his party will fight to protect the monarchy against any violation. That’s why he and his party cannot vote in support of Pita as the premier.

11.45am – Senator Kamnoon Sidhisamarn says he will not vote for Move Forward’s leader to be the next prime minister because of his strident campaigning to review the lèse majesté law. He detailed Move Forward’s draft review of the lèse majesté law, which was submitted during the previous parliament, saying it is not acceptable. The draft, he said, was not even tabled for discussion because of its “violation” of the monarchy. Kamnoon said that his senate colleagues and others had asked Pita to stop pushing for the amendment, but he refused to back off.

11.32am – Pheu Thai MP Adisorn Piengkes says he supports Pita’s candidacy for prime minister because his party won the most House seats, followed by the Pheu Thai party. It is the voters who gave their judgment in the May general election and voted for Pita’s party to form the government and Pita as the next PM.

11.20am – United Thai Nation party MP Sarttra Sripan of Songkhla province says he cannot vote Pita as the next premier because of his attempts to amend the lèse majesté law. He says that Thailand can develop without amendment of the law, a move which has caused internal rifts. Regarding Pita’s shareholding case, Sarttra said Pita can blame no one but himself, as they were clearly the shares of a media company.

United Thai Nation MP Sattra Sripan

11.02am – Pita says he has all the qualifications required to be the next premier of Thailand. Regarding the EC’s submission of his shareholding case to the Constitution Court, Pita says he has had no opportunity to defend himself and learnt about the allegations through the media. He says he should be assumed innocent until proven.

11am – Prime ministerial candidate Pita asks for an opportunity to explain himself.

10.40am – Senator Prapanth Koonmee tells the chamber that Pita does is not qualified to be the prime minister because he held 42,000 shares in ITV, a media company, when he registered his candidacy, which is prohibited by the election law and the Constitution. The Election Commission has already sent Pita’s ITV shareholding case to the Constitution Court, despite the fact Pita himself should have realised the situation, so it was not necessary to send the case to the Court. With all this, he said he could not support Pita as the next prime minister.

10.15am – Bhumjaithai MP Chada Thaised says that his party does not support Pita as the next prime minister mainly because he and his party continue to campaign for amendment of the lèse majesté law.
“Pita and his Move Forward party have publicly displayed their promotion of amendment and other activities which I consider a violation of the monarchy.” said Chada, adding that several Move Forward MPs are facing charges of violating the lèse majesté law.

Bhumjaithai MP Chada Thaised

10.11am – Speaker asks the chamber if there are any more nominations for PM. There are none, so he announces that Pita is the sole candidate for the premiership.

10.11am – Speaker asks the chamber if there are any more nominations for PM. There are none, so he announces that Pita is the sole candidate for the premiership.

10.09am – House speaker announces that Pita’s nomination as PM is endorsed by 302 MPs.

10am – Cholnan Srikaew, leader of Pheu Thai and MP for Nan province, nominates Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat for prime minister.

9.51am – The chamber discusses the timeslots assigned to each side, in order to ensure voting starts at 5pm, as previously agreed.The House speaker ensures that the sitting proceeds as discussed and agreed.

9.30am – The joint sitting of MPs and Senators begins. House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha provided a briefing on the process for the election of the Prime Minister.