(FILE) Members of Parliament and senators convene to debate the re-nominated Move Forward Party's leader and prime ministerial candidate Pita Limjaroenrat during a session to elect the country's new prime minister at the Parliament in Bangkok, Thailand, 19 July 2023. EFE/EPA/RUNGROJ YONGRIT

Thai parliament to hold fresh PM vote next week

Bangkok, Aug 16 (EFE).- Thailand’s parliament will hold another vote to appoint a prime minister next week, the president of the lower house, Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, said Wednesday.

The announcement comes after the Court rejected an appeal by Move Forward to have their leader Pita Limjaroenrat’s candidacy reinstated.

There have already been two unsuccessful attempts to nominate a PM since elections were held on May 14 which resulted in a surprise victory for Move Forward, a progressive party that pledged to curb the power of the military and the monarchy.

(FILE) Thai democracy supporters and Move Forward Party leader and prime ministerial candidate Pita Limjaroenrat supporters protest in Bangkok, Thailand, 14 August 2023. EFE/EPA/NARONG SANGNAK

Move Forward and seven other parties formed a pro-democratic coalition with a large majority among the 500 members of the elected lower House of Representatives.

However, the coalition failed to form a government after Pita was blocked from becoming PM due to opposition from the Senate, whose 250 unelected members were handpicked by the now defunct military junta that ruled the country between 2014-2019.

In the first vote on Jul. 13, the coalition failed to garner enough support for Pita’s candidacy, and he was then dramatically removed from parliament ahead of the second vote later that month after the Constitutional Court suspended him as a deputy pending an investigation into his previous ownership of shares in a media company.

(FILE) Pheu Thai Party leader Cholnan Srikaew (C) speaks during a press conference alongside Pheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Chanthararuangthong (R) and Pheu Thai Deputy Leader Phumtham Wechayachai (L) at the Pheu Thai Party headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, 02 August 2023. EFE/EPA/RUNGROJ YONGRIT

After Pita’s suspension, Move Forward’s coalition partner Pheu Thai, which won the second largest share of the vote in the elections, began government formation talks with six other parties.

Pheu Thai plans to present construction magnate Srettha Thavisin, who is opposed to reforming royal defamation laws known as lese majeste, a proposal by Move Forward that had triggered the strongest opposition among the royalist, pro-military senators. EFE