79-year-old Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, better known as Wan Noor, who had previously served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1994-1998, has been automatically elected House Speaker since he was nominated uncontested, ending a one month-long dispute that had threatened to undermine the unity of the Pheu Thai-Move Forward alliance.
The disagreement started when the Pheu Thai Party (PTP) and Move Forward Party (MFP) refused to concede their bids for the House Speaker position. PTP believed that since the party came a close second in terms of votes received, it deserved the most coveted title in the legislative branch since the MFP will take the helm of the executive branch. The MFP, meanwhile, insisted they needed the position to secure safe passage for various bills that the party will propose.
The deadlock finally was broken Monday night following a prolonged negotiation, when both parties agreed to nominate Noor Matha, leader of the Prachachart Party, as the sole candidate for the House Speake position. They believe that the ex-speaker will preserve the interests of the 8-party coalition.
Noor Matha, expressing his vision per regulation, affirmed that he will perform his duties with political impartiality and lead parliament by following the royal guidance bestowed upon the members of the 26th Parliament as a guideline for future action.
MFP Phitsanulok constituency MP Padipat Santiphada was elected First Deputy Speaker, after being earlier nominated by the MFP for Speaker before his Party and the PTP sidelined him in favour of Wan Noor.
Padipat defeated United Thai Nation's nominee Witthaya Kaewparadai with 312 votes from a total of 496 lawmakers in attendance. Pheu Thai MP Pichet Chuamuangphan was elected Second Deputy Speaker.
MFP leader and Prime Ministerial candidate Pita Limjaroenrat stated the decision took into consideration the preservation of independence and friendship among the 8-party coalition as a greater objective, adding that the decision demonstrates the MFP's steadfastness to prioritise principles over individuals.
The MFP leader said Padipat has been involved in the discussions throughout the decision-making process.