BANGKOK, June 6 (TNA) — The members of parliament and senators at the joint session overwhelmingly voted for Prayut Chan-o-cha to be prime minister late on Wednesday night after more than 10 hours of intense debate about his qualification.
The combined members of the House of Representatives and Senate cast 500 votes for Gen Prayut which were enough to elect the former junta leader as the 30th prime minister of Thailand.
The result was widely expected as the winning candidate needed at least 376 votes of the total 750 votes of the House and Senate — including 250 senators handpicked by the National Council for Peace and Order led by Gen Prayut which includes scores of military officers and loyalists.
Gen Prayut’s sole challenger, the 40-year-old billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, the leader of Future Forward Party gained 244 votes.
Mr Thanathorn was prevented from attend the meeting and voting because his MP duties were suspended over an alleged media shareholding. Former Democrat party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, who resigned as his party-list MP seat on Wednesday morning over his party’s endorsement of Gen Prayut as PM was not voting.
He was nominated by the self-proclaimed pro-democracy front, which comprises seven parties, led by Phue Thai Party.
The 65-year-old Gen Prayut will now lead a 19-party coalition government led by the Palang Pracharath Party which has a slim majority in the lower House of Representatives. (TNA)