By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A THAMMASAT ACADEMIC today (Apr. 18) called on eligible voters nationwide to press senators to comply with the outcome of the May 14 general election and pick a prime minister accordingly.
Thorn Pitidol, head of Thammasat University’s Centre for Research on Inequality and Social Policy, advised the voters to keep mounting pressure upon the 250 unelected senators to abide by the decisions of most voters in the national election by allowing the party which will have the most elected MPs to have the first chance to set up a government with the winning party’s own candidate being successfully named a prime minister.
The Thammasat academic raised concerns over the possibility of the setting up of a minority government, which would only compromise democratic rule, instead of a majority one.
Thorn suggested that the voters nationwide join in a massive effort to see to it that the senators, all of whom had been handpicked by caretaker prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan following the 2014 coup, will finally cast their yea vote alongside the MPs for the prime-ministerial candidate specifically named by the party with the largest number of MPs.
Thorn expressed fears that most senators might ultimately spurn the outcome of the May 14 election and would only vote either for Prayut or Prawit and nobody else for prime minister and that a minority government might possibly be set up with intent to manage to muster support from among the MPs for government legislations and decrees at a later date.
Prayut who is currently contesting to prolong his rule under the Ruam Thai Sang Chart tickets is believed to have contemplated setting up a minority government, given a sustained support from many of the 250 senators though he might possibly be given yea votes from less than half the total of 500 MPs.
The coup junta-designed constitution of 2017 empowers the unelected senators to vote alongside the elected MPs for head of a post-election government who is legally obliged to secure support from more than half the total of MPs and senators combined or with at least 376 votes.
Top: Supporters of various political parties hold placards as constituency candidates arrive for their registration for the upcoming general election at the Thailand-Japan Youth Centre stadium in Bangkok on April 3, 2023. Photo: AP/Sakchai Lalit and published by CNA
Front Page: Thammasat academic Thorn Pitidol. Photo: Naewna