Thailand’s Parliament sets 13 Jul vote to select Premier

  • Thailand will hold a joint session of its parliament on 13 Jul to elect a prime minister, taking a key step toward government formation almost two months after a group of pro-democracy parties swept the May election.
  • The 750-member National Assembly will convene for the vote at 9:30 a.m. on 13 Jul, Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, newly-elected speaker of the House of Representatives, told reporters on 5 Jul. The session may not be immediately conclusive and may be only the first of many, as a successful premier candidate needs to gain the support of the majority of lawmakers, he said.
  • The eight-party coalition that has staked a claim to form Thailand’s next government will solely nominate Pita Limjaroenrat, the 42-year-old leader of the progressive Move Forward Party that won the most seats in the 14 May election. It is not yet clear if other parties will nominate someone to challenge Pita’s bid.
  • Despite the uphill battle, Pita has said that he is confident he will secure the top job. There is no deadline for when the next leader has to be elected by, and the parliament may need to convene more than once to vote until a clear winner emerges, Wan said.
  • Asked how many times such a vote may take place, the 79-year-old speaker said: “We cannot anticipate in advance.”

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