Thailand’s parliamentary session on Thursday concluded without the selection of a new prime minister, as the sole candidate, Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat, did not secure the majority support required from the parliamentarians.
During a joint session of the lower house, consisting of 500 members, and the upper house, consisting of 250 senators, Pita was the only nominee for prime minister. However, he received only 324 votes in favor, which fell short of the simple majority required for him to assume the role.
The voting took place after several hours of debates among the parliamentarians.
Following the general election in May, the Move Forward Party emerged as the largest party in the lower house of the National Assembly. It subsequently formed a coalition with the Pheu Thai Party and other smaller opposition parties to support Pita’s candidacy for prime minister.
Although Pita’s coalition holds more than 310 seats in the House of Representatives, he was unable to garner enough support from the senators, as they overwhelmingly voted to abstain during the session.
In a statement, the Move Forward Party expressed its commitment to continue working towards uniting voices and forming a government.
“We accept the result, but we are not giving up,” Pita stated to reporters. “I will strategize once again to consolidate support and gather more votes in the next meeting.”
If nominated again, Pita will have the opportunity to contest the next parliamentary vote, which is expected to take place next week.
National Assembly President Wan Muhamad Noor Matha did not announce the specific plan for the next vote during Thursday’s session. However, he previously indicated that July 19 would be a suitable date for the parliament to reconvene if no winner emerged from the Thursday session.