Thai Parliament to Meet Within Next Few Weeks to Choose Speaker

The Election Commission (EC) certified the results of last month’s election on Monday (19 June), paving the way for the first session of parliament in the next few weeks ahead of the formation of a new government.

The EC said it had endorsed the winners of all 500 seats of the lower house, which must convene within 15 days to elect a speaker, who will then call for a joint session of the bicameral legislature to vote on a prime minister.

The Move Forward Party (MFP) pulled off a stunning victory in the May 14 ballot, closely followed by the Pheu Thai Party.

The opposition has formed an eight-party alliance that is expected to back MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat for prime minister and form a coalition government likely next month.

Though endorsement of the results clears up some of the uncertainty surrounding the election, it is far from clear whether Pita can muster enough support to become premier, which requires 376 votes from the combined upper and lower houses.

The alliance has control of 312 seats and will need to court votes from either rival parties or some of the 250 members of the Senate.

Move Forward’s alliance said it would meet on Thursday (22 June) to agree on a speaker and deputy speakers.

Pita also has an election commission examination hanging over his bid for the top job, centered on whether he held shares in a media firm, which is prohibited under the law, and ran for office while knowingly unqualified.

He maintains the firm in question, iTV, is not an active media entity. If found guilty by a court, Pita faces a political ban of up to 20 years and possibly prison time.

The preceding is a press release from the Thai Government PR Department.

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