BANGKOK, June 5 (TNA) – Thailand’s new Parliament convened
a joint session to vote for a prime minister on Wednesday with Prime Minister
Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha is likely to retain the country’s top job.
After the fourth largest party, Democrat, decided on Tuesday
to join pro-junta Palang Pracharat Party coalition, Prayut is poised to secure
strong supports in the vote. But the
party’s resolution has led its former leader Abhisit Vejjajiva to resign as MP.
The then-prime minister candidate Abhisit pledged during the
campaign that the Democrat would not back Prayut to keep his post. He stepped down from the party leadership
following the huge loss in the polls.
Abhisit told reporters that he would like to “keep his
words” for the public which was more important that the party’s
In the Parliament session, another Democrat’s former leader
and former prime minister Chuan Leekpai performed as House Speaker in the joint
session of 500 MPs and 250 senators.
After the PPRP nominated Prayut, the Future Forward Party
nominated its leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit to become the 30th prime
minister. Members of both chambers have
discussed the qualifications of the two candidates.
Thanathorn is backed by the anti-junta bloc of seven parties
led by the Pheu Thai Party. Failing to
garner sufficient supports, Pheu Thai has stepped aside to let Thanathorn
nominated as their prime ministerial candidate.
The businessman-turned-politician was not present in the meeting
because he has been suspended from MP duties pending court ruling on violating
Likewise, Prayut did not attend the parliamentary session as
he is a prime ministerial candidate not an MP.
Observers say Prayut, who led the coup in 2014, is expected to get
majority votes from 254 MPs in the lower house.
It is unsure that the vote will take place on Wednesday; the
session could be extended for days to allow lawmakers to express their