The Constitutional Court is set to consider the acceptance of a petition concerning the renomination of Pita Limjaroenrat, leader of the Move Forward Party (MFP), as prime minister.
The court will deliberate on the matter on Aug 3 following a request from the Ombudsman earlier this week. The Ombudsman sought a ruling on Pita’s rejection for renomination and requested parliament to postpone the next prime ministerial vote.
The Ombudsman’s decision to seek a judicial review came after numerous complaints were filed by the public and members of parliament with the Office of the Ombudsman. These complaints were lodged following the joint sitting of MPs and senators, during which Pita’s renomination was rejected. The Ombudsman argued that the rejection violated constitutional provisions, and a judicial review was necessary to prevent any irreparable damage.
In response to the Ombudsman’s request, parliament president Wan Muhamad Noor Matha postponed another vote that was initially scheduled for today. He clarified that the decision to postpone the vote was not influenced by any attempt from the Pheu Thai party to garner support for their own prime ministerial candidates. Instead, the postponement was based on the pending court ruling.
Wan indicated that should the court dismiss the petition, a new meeting to elect a prime minister can be scheduled immediately. However, he stated that parliament must receive three days’ notice before such a session is held.
Addressing concerns about the prime ministerial selection process and the military-appointed senators’ term expiration, Democrat Party-list MP Chuan Leekpai remarked that the selection process is likely to be completed well before the Senate’s five-year term ends next May. Some minor parties within the MFP-led alliance have urged waiting for the Senate’s term to expire, so the prime ministerial candidate could be elected by the House of Representatives alone.