The first parliamentary session has been held to select a new PM, with Pita Limjaroenrat as the only candidate nominated for the position. While the outgoing government coalition parties continue to strongly oppose Pita.
Chonlanan Srikaew, the leader of the Pheu Thai Party, nominated Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of the Move Forward Party (MFP), as the prime ministerial candidate, with no other candidates being nominated.
The first MP to speak was Chada Thaiseth from the Bhumjaithai Party. He stated that his party does not support a Prime Minister from a party that aims to abolish the royal defamation law ( Section 112). He asserted that if the MFP leads the government, Bhumjaithai is prepared to be an opposition party and that the party strongly opposes amendment of the royal defamation law.
Chada also emphasized that the country's population is not just 14 million people, but Pita must represent all 60 million people as Prime Minister.
Senator Prapan Koonmee, a former yellow shirt protest leader, stated that despite the House of Representatives and the Senators having different origins, the law recognizes both as representatives of the people with the same duty to protect national and public interests.
Prapan emphasized that this nomination involves an individual who possesses attributes prohibited by law.
He also added that those who insist on voting in favour of Pita, which is against the code of ethics for MPs, will face criminal legal proceedings.
Chaitawat Tulathon, the MFP secretary-general, explained why Pita should be selected as the Prime Minister. He pointed out that there is no need to speak, as the people's decision has already been made. The party has won the general election and gained support from 7 other parties. He reiterated that according to the normal practice in democratic systems, Pita should be the next PM. It should be as simple as that.
Chaitawat stated that if choice of the new PM does not align with the results of the election, then what is the purpose of holding the election? He said this is an opportunity to find a new resolution for the country.
United Thai Nation Party MP Sarttra Sripan expressed disagreement with amendment of the royal defamation law, asserting that society can move forward without touching this law.
He stated that he has never been sued under the royal defamation law. Thus, he does not perceive the use of the law as a form of lawfare but rather as the rule of law.
Sarttra emphasized that the UTN believes amending the law will affect the sentiments of the Thai people. Therefore, the party will not support Pita to be the 30th PM.
MP Adisorn Piengkes from the Pheu Thai Party spoke of the challenge of forming a government due to interference from independent organizations. He reiterated that the major problem is attempts to obstruct the party with most seats from forming a government.
He said Pita should have an opportunity to be the next PM without any conditions.
Senator Kamnoon Sidhisamarn, formerly a member of the junta-appointed National Reform Steering Assembly, disagreed with the MFP's policy of amending the royal defamation law. The senator said amending the law has three damaging aspects, stating that it affects the country and violates the royal institution, aims to reduce the protection of the monarchy, and resembles the exoneration of all cases under the royal defamation law.
Prachachart Party MP Pol Col Tawee Sodsong expressed his support for Pita, pointing out that the people need the government they have chosen to run the country and address problems of inequality resulting from mismanagement that benefits the rich. He highlighted that the root cause of the lack of democracy in the country arises from coups d'état, the constitution, parliament, and the government.
Democrat Party MP Chaichana Detdecho said he opposes the amendment of the royal defamation law, pointing out that the economic crisis is a more urgent issue to address.
He reiterated the party's stance toward the monarchy, saying that the party will strongly oppose those who attempt to amend the royal defamation law.