Srettha Thavisin, the Prime Ministerial candidate from the Pheu Thai Party, has won the bicameral vote in Thai Parliament to become the country’s next prime minister.
Srettha, who is also a property tycoon and a neophyte to politics, was the sole premier candidate for the third prime ministerial vote arranged today, August 22nd.
The vote came after the first two votes saw the leader of the election-winning Move Forward Party, Pita Limjaroenrat, fail to become prime minister due to his inability to gain sufficient support from the Senate, which is composed of 250 junta-appointed senators.
Seeing that the Move Forward Party could not back its leader to take on the country’s leadership role mainly due to its refusal to back down on the controversial proposed amendment to the royal defamation law (lese majeste), the Pheu Thai Party decided to break away from the old coalition to ally with parties mostly from the former government camps.
The new Pheu Thai-led coalition consists of 314 MPs from 11 parties, including the military-backed Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party, which backed coup-maker former Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, and the Palang Pracharath Party, which supported former Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan.
The inclusion of these two parties into the coalition prompted its old partner, Move Forward, to refuse to vote for Srettha, citing that it contradicted the Thai people’s mandate given in the general election.
However, all in all, Srettha was able to secure the parliamentary victory with 482 votes in favor, 164 votes against, and 81 abstentions.
The threshold is half of the parliament which is 375 votes, thus Srettha is now officially Thailand’s next Prime Minister.
Srettha along with Pheu Thai has important policies that they have pledged to implement including:
- Implement the 10,000 baht digital wallet policy.
- Raise the daily minimum wage to 600 baht by 2027.
- Raise the starting wage for new graduates to 25,000 baht per month.
- Replace mandatory military conscription with a voluntary system (the policy belonged to Move Forward, but Pheu Thai swore to pursue this policy after the breakup).
- Elevate crop prices.
- Resolve the separatist conflict in the southernmost provinces.
- Pursue medical marijuana initiatives.
- Amend the charter to enhance its democratic nature and eliminate corruption while leave the sections pertaining to the royal institution untouched.