The United Thai Nation Party (UTN) will not nominate its leader Pirapan Salirathavibhaga as a prime ministerial candidate to compete against Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat, according to UTN secretary-general Akanat Promphan.
Mr Akanat posted a message on the UTN's Facebook page on Thursday, saying his party's nomination of its deputy leader Vittaya Kaewparadai to compete for the post of first deputy speaker of the House of representatives on Tuesday would not lead to the nomination of Mr Pirapan for the post of prime minister in the parliament on July 13.
The UTN would have been automatically considered as supporting MFP candidate Padipat Suntiphada to take up the position unless it had nominated Mr Vittaya to compete for the post, Mr Akanat wrote.
By law, a sole candidate for the House speaker and a deputy would be endorsed to assume the respective jobs without a vote in the House.
"We nominated (Mr Vittaya) to compete to clearly demonstrate our standpoint, although we knew well that there was a slim chance of victory," Mr Akanat wrote.
Addressing the rumour that the UTN would present its leader to compete for the prime minister's post, Mr Akanat dismissed it, saying that the party only had 36 House representatives, which is not enough to lead a coalition government.
"Mr Pirapan and I have never entertained the idea of supporting the formation of a government with a minority vote in the House. Such a government cannot last," the secretary-general wrote.
Disapproval of a prime minister or government intending to amend or revoke Section 112 of the Criminal Code, also known as the lese majeste law, can be expressed by refusing to vote for, voting against, or abstaining in the vote for a prime ministerial candidate, he added.
"UTN is ready to be an opposition party... but will not amend Section 112, change the National Day or separate the (Thai) territory. We will strive for the further development of the positive aspects already existing in our country," Mr Akanat wrote.
UTN secretary-general Akanat Promphan