Bangkok, July 25 (EFE).- Thailand’s political deadlock deepened on Tuesday after parliament delayed a vote to elect the country’s new prime minister.
The vote was scheduled for Thursday after the leader of the election-winning Move Forward Party, Pita Limjaroenrat, failed in his two attempts to become prime minister.
Conservatives and military-nominated lawmakers opposed his party’s liberal agenda.
Wan Noor, the speaker of the House of Representatives, announced on Tuesday the postponement of the session to elect the prime minister to a later date, marking another episode of the country’s political deadlock.
“There will be no meeting on the 27th,” Noor said. “I will inform later when the next vote will be.”
Pita scored an unexpected victory in the elections on May 14, representing a radical change in Thailand’s military-dominated political landscape.
Thailand’s parliament consists of an elected lower house and an un-elected upper chamber, whose 250 pro-military and royalist senators were handpicked by the former junta that ruled the country from 2014 to 2019.
During his first attempt to seek a parliamentary vote on July 13, Pita failed to secure enough support due to the blockade by the un-elected senators, despite having the majority of support in the lower house.
He sought a parliamentary nod again on Wednesday.
Pita left the chamber earlier after the Constitutional Court suspended him as a lawmaker pending an investigation into his former ownership of shares in a now inactive telecommunications company.
In a controversial motion passed with the majority support of the legislature, the parliament blocked the vote because it was an already rejected proposal that cannot not be voted again.
The house speaker justified the delay due to a petition submitted by the Ombudsman, requesting a review of the decision to block the re-nomination of Pita as a prime ministerial candidate on July 19, public network Thai PBS reported.
The Ombudsman argues that the Thai constitution does not establish a maximum number of candidacies for the same candidate.
The body also requested that the Justice system immediately halt any further attempts to vote in Parliament to elect the country’s leader until the Constitutional Court pronounces on the matter.
The Thai Constitution states that the candidate for prime minister must achieve an absolute majority in a vote among the 500 members of the elected House of Representatives and the 250 members of the Senate, who were handpicked in 2019 by the now-defunct military junta.
Following the blockades, Pita was told that the Constitutional Court had temporarily suspended his parliamentary seat due to another investigation.
The party relinquished the task of forming the government to Pheu Thai, the second-largest party in the elections.
These two parties formed a coalition with six other groups, holding 312 seats out of the 500 in the House of Representatives.
However, they still need the support of other lawmakers or senators to form a government.
Over the weekend, Pheu Thai held talks with conservative political parties without significant progress due to their veto against Move Forward because it has vowed to reform laws that shield the all-powerful Thai royal family from public critcism. EFE