Pita Limjaroenrat has announced his resignation from the position as leader of the Move Forward Party (MFP) because his court-ordered suspension as MP has left him unable to perform his duties.
On 15 September 2023, Pita Limjaroenrat posted a message on his Facebook page, stating that he has already resigned as the leader of the MFP.
As noted by Pita the MFP, with the most seats in the parliament, must serve the people as the opposition party, The constitution stipulates that the leader of the opposition must be an MP from the first-ranked opposition party. As Pita’s MP status was suspended by the Constitutional Court pending an investigation of his media shareholding case, he is unable to perform his duties in the parliament and concerned that he will not be able to resume a leadership role in the near future.
He added that he discussed the matter with party executives and MPs who also recognise that it is crucial to have a leader to guide the opposition’s performance, making sure that the government and its policies are closely scrutinise.
“I have, therefore, decided to resign from the position of the MFP’s leader at this moment to pave the way for the party to choose an MP who can serve as leader of the opposition in the parliament to replace me,” Pita wrote on his Facebook.
He reiterated that regardless of his status, he will continue working alongside the MFP and the people to pursue an agenda of change with all his might.
According to iLaw, Section 106 of the current constitution stipulates that the leader of the opposition must be the MP from the largest number of MPs with no members holding the office of the House Speaker or the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. iLaw remarked that even though Pita has resigns, the party is still unable to be the leader of the opposition because MP Padipat Suntiphada from the MFP is still the first Deputy Speaker.
As for the second-ranked Democrat Party, it still does not have a party leader, as stipulated in the Constitution. iLaw stated that in such a case, the parties without ministerial positions can vote for a party to become the leader of the opposition. In case two parties have the same number of votes, the drawing of lots will be applied.