The Election Commission (EC) has officially certified the results of last month’s election, marking an important step towards the formation of a new government. The EC announced that it has endorsed the winners of all 500 seats in the lower house of parliament. As per the constitutional requirement, the lower house must convene within 15 days to elect a speaker, who will then call for a joint session of the bicameral legislature to vote on a prime minister.
The May 14 ballot witnessed a stunning victory for the Move Forward Party (MFP), closely followed by the Pheu Thai Party. In response, the opposition has formed an eight-party alliance, which is expected to support MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat as the prime ministerial candidate and form a coalition government in the coming month.
However, the key question remains whether Pita can gather enough support to secure the position of prime minister, which requires the backing of 376 votes from the combined upper and lower houses. While the alliance currently controls 312 seats, it will need to garner additional support from rival parties or members of the Senate, which has 250 members.
The MFP’s alliance has announced plans to meet on Thursday to discuss and decide on a speaker and deputy speakers for the parliament. Meanwhile, Pita faces scrutiny from the election commission regarding his eligibility for the top job. The examination centers on allegations of his ownership of shares in a media firm, which is prohibited by law, and running for office while being aware of his disqualification. Pita argues that the firm in question, iTV, is not an active media entity. If found guilty by a court, he could face a political ban of up to 20 years and potential imprisonment.