Srettha Thavisin, a Pheu Thai candidate for prime minister, has called on other parties, particularly Bhumjaithai and the Democrats, to support Pita Limjaroenrat of the Move Forward Party for prime minister and obviate the need for the support of military-appointed senators.
He posted his call on Facebook on Monday after Mr Pita announced he was forming a coalition of six parties, which would now have 310 MPs.
When the joint sitting of the House of Representatives and the Senate is called to elect the prime minister, under the 2017 constitution at least 376 votes are needed for his endorsement. This means Mr Pita would need more votes from other parties or from senators.
Mr Srettha said he hoped all parties would show political spirit and adherence to the people's voice by voting for Mr Pita.
"I, for one, support Mr Pita of the Move Forward Party to take the position with grace," he said.
Mr Srettha said Move Forward had grown from 81 MPs in 2019 to 152 in 2023. This showed its policies and ideologies had been truly accepted by the people. "This phenomenon is undeniably a great change in Thai society," he said.
He said many parties, particularly Bhumjaithai and the Democrats, had earlier announced their opposition to the 2017 constitution's empowering of senators to take part in the vote for the prime minister.
"Now it's time for you [Bhumjaithai and Democrat parties] to confirm your stand by voting for Mr Pita to be the 30th prime minister in a true democracy, without having to rely on votes from the 250 senators," he wrote.