Pol Gen Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, leader of the Seri Ruam Thai Party, a member of the prospective coalition led by the Move Forward Party (MFP), has assured the Senate that he will not allow the lese majeste law to be amended, in what is seen as a bid to woo support ahead of the prime ministerial vote.
Pol Gen Sereepisuth moved to allay the concern about any bid to revise Section 112 of the Criminal Code after the MFP and its seven partners signed an MoU agreeing on a joint policy platform on May 22.
"Amending Section 112 is not included in the memorandum of understanding," Pol Gen Sereepisuth said.
He pointed out that several senators had said they would not vote for MFP leader and PM candidate Pita Limjaroenrat as long as the party still wants to amend Section 112.
"I will not allow Move Forward to amend the law. Other parties [which are partners of the prospective coalition] such as Prachachart and Pheu Thai have also opposed the bid.
"Therefore, the senators should not worry as they can vote [for a prime minister candidate] freely," he said.
Under the constitution, the 250 senators appointed by the now-defunct coup-engineer, the National Council for Peace and Order, are allowed to join MPs in electing a prime minister in parliament. MFP has said it is prepared to go it alone in seeking votes for its S112 changes.
Meanwhile, acting Democrat leader Jurin Laksanawisit on Sunday commented on complaints against MPs-elect in about 25 constituencies as announced by the Election Commission (EC), saying he believed this would not affect the bid by the MFP-led coalition to form a government.
"As long as the eight parties in the prospective coalition stick together, they should retain a majority of House seats even if they would have their House seat numbers deducted by 25," Mr Jurin said.
Pheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Chantararuangthong also downplayed the complaints against MPs-elect, many of whom are believed to be election candidates from Pheu Thai and the MFP.
He said that even if they are disqualified, this still should not obstruct the MFP-led coalition's bid to form a government.
But the EC will have to endorse at least 95% of all 500 MPs-elect first, Mr Prasert said. "If the EC is to hold election reruns, I am confident voters will still support us anyway," he said.
EC chairman Ittiporn Boonpracong said on Saturday that he was confident 95% of the votes would be endorsed well ahead of the 60-day, mid-July deadline. However, he said 280 complaints have been lodged against MPs-elect. Those complaints targeted 20 winning candidates.
The poll agency has to check all 95,000 polling stations nationwide to determine where vote recounts or even poll reruns might have to be held.