Thai progressive leader loses prime ministerial vote | News

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Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of the progressive party that won the most support in Thailand's general election, fell short of the required number of votes from lawmakers on Thursday to become the country's next prime minister.


Thailand election winner announces broad coalition

Although he was the only candidate nominated, Limjaroenrat received only 324 votes, short of the simple majority of 376 required to hold the position, taking into account the lower house of 500 members and the upper house of 250 senators.

Considered of a conservative tendency, the latter was appointed after the coup in 2014 by the former military junta, which is in favor of the current Executive at the helm of the country.

The 42-year-old leader, in alliance with eight parties, concluded the vote with 323 votes, including 13 from senators. A total of 182 legislators voted against him, while 198 abstained.

The Conservatives oppose the anti-establishment agenda of his party, Move Forward, which includes a controversial plan to amend a law that prohibits insulting royals.

On Wednesday, the Electoral Commission recommended his suspension as a parliamentarian for alleged irregularities and the Constitutional Court accepted a case against him and his party for allegedly wanting to "overthrow" the monarchy.

The recommendation followed an investigation into Limjaroenrat's ownership of shares in a media company, as politicians in that nation are prohibited from owning them. However, the candidate declared that the station has not broadcast since 2007 and that the shares were inherited from his father.

Given these results, the speaker of the House must submit a new vote scheduled for July 19 until a prime minister emerges, raising the specter of weeks of stagnation and economic uncertainty in Thailand.

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