The Pheu Thai Party has a good chance to become the leader of a new coalition if the Move Forward Party (MFP) and its leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, can't win the parliamentary selection of the new prime minister, a political science academic said on Friday.
As the party with the second-highest number of House seats, Pheu Thai will be able to justify a move to take over from the MFP and form a new coalition, possibly together with some other major parties outside the MFP-led alliance, Olarn Thinbangtieo from Burapha University, told the Bangkok Post.
The current alliance comprises eight parties, including Pheu Thai, he pointed out.
"All Pheu Thai has to do is wait and see what its best option is -- its own prime ministerial candidate or that of another party [that it will form a new political alliance with]," said Mr Olarn.
If Mr Pita repeatedly fails to win the prime minister vote, Pheu Thai might have to decide if it should stay with the MFP-led alliance or switch sides to form a new alliance with parties such as Bhumjaithai or Palang Pracharath, he said.
If Pheu Thai chooses to remain in the same political alliance but grabs the opportunity to nominate its prime ministerial candidate in a new prime ministerial vote, the party might fail to garner sufficient votes from the Senate as well, Mr Olarn said.
As for the possibility of MFP's supporters taking to the street after Mr Pita failed Thursday's vote, Mr Olarn said that appeared remote at this point as Mr Pita has the chance to again contend for the premiership.
Thursday's debate before MPs and senators voted on Mr Pita -- the sole nominee for the parliamentary selection for the role -- actually served no use as those who voted had already seemingly made their mind up, he said.
Other political science academics echoed Mr Olarn's view, including Wanwichit Boonprong of Rangsit University, Stithorn Thananithichot of King Prajadhipok's Institute and Thanaporn Sriyakul of Kasetsart University.
They shared a similar view that senators who either abstained or voted no in Thursday's vote claimed MFP's stance against Section 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lese majeste law, was the reason why they would not support Mr Pita as the country's new prime minister.
Additionally, the academics thought Mr Pita and the MFP had no room to back down on their Section 112 stance after making it a key part of their electioneering.