Eight coalition allies on Monday evening agreed to renominate Move Forward Party (MFP) leader Pita Limjaroenrat as the prime minister on Wednesday – but if he fails again, the Pheu Thai Party will have the next chance.
Mr Pita, leader and prime ministerial candidate of the election-winning party, said after a meeting of the coalition allies that the eight parties would nominate him as prime minister at the joint sitting of the elected House and military-appointed Senate for the second round on Wednesday.
"If votes in favour do not rise significantly, we will retreat. Pheu Thai will take its turn," Mr Pita said at Thai Summit Tower, the meeting venue. He specified that a significant increase would constitute an incremental gain of 10% or more.
His MFP won the May 14 general election with 151 House seats and Pheu Thai was the first runner-up with 141 seats.
The eight parties on Monday dismissed a remark from some senators that they could not resubmit Mr Pita as the prime ministerial candidate because he failed to obtain a majority vote from the House and the Senate on July 13.
Mr Pita said the prime ministerial nomination was not a motion – and therefore, a regulation of parliamentary sessions that prohibits the resubmission of a motion did not apply to the PM nomination.
In addition, the eight coalition allies stated that MFP alone proposed to amend Section 272 of the constitution in order to strip the appointed senators of the right to join the elected representatives voting for prime minister. The seven other coalition allies had nothing to do with the proposed amendment, Mr Pita said.
MFP proposed the amendment idea after most senators turned down Mr Pita's nomination as prime minister last week. Without the participation of the 249 senators appointed by the previous military government, the eight coalition parties that together won a total of 312 House seats would have a majority vote for prime minister.
Before the meeting of the eight coalition allies on Monday, a deputy leader of the Pheu Thai Party commented that the nomination of Mr Pita could not be repeated forever.
After the meeting Mr Pita said his party was trying to woo more support from senators and he hoped he would receive more votes in favour from senators on Wednesday.
He stood firm that his party would push for the amendment of the lese majeste law (Section 112 of the Criminal Code) as it was a principal promise in its election campaign.
Many senators and representatives strongly opposed the change and cited it as the main reason for not supporting Mr Pita as the next prime minister.
Earlier Parliament President Wan Muhamad Noor Matha set the third round of the prime ministerial vote for Thursday.