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Srettha Tavisin Triumphs as Thailand’s 30th Prime Minister Amidst Controversial Parliamentary Session

Bangkok, August 22, 2023 – Srettha Tavisin of the Pheu Thai Party has emerged victorious in the parliamentary vote, securing his place as the 30th Prime Minister of the kingdom. This development follows a day marked by significant events and intense parliamentary debates.

The spotlight shone on the nation’s political landscape as the National Assembly convened for its third session, tasked with the selection of Thailand’s new leader. However, the day also saw the return of a prominent figure in Thai politics – former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who had been living in exile for the past 15 years. The 74-year-old former leader’s return captured headlines as he landed on Thai soil at approximately 9 am. He is now under the custody of the Department of Corrections.

Amidst these significant events, the parliamentary session was marked by tension and deliberation. The parliamentary proceedings took an unexpected turn when Move Forward Party (MFP) MP Rangsiman Rome urged Parliament President Wan Muhammad Nor Matha, commonly known as Wan Nor, to reconsider the nomination of Pita Limjaroenrat, the leader of MFP, as a prime ministerial candidate. Wan Nor promptly dismissed the request, eliciting consternation from another MFP MP, Theerat Phantamart. Accusing Wan Nor of bias, Theerat’s protest further escalated the tension in the chamber.

In response, Wan Nor forcefully demanded Theerat to retract his accusation, citing potential harm to his reputation. When Theerat refused to comply, Wan Nor took the unusual step of silencing him by turning off his microphone. Rome, in an attempt to defuse the escalating situation, withdrew his request, allowing Wan Nor to shift the proceedings towards the proposal of the prime ministerial candidate.

Chonlanarn Sikaew, the leader of the Pheu Thai Party, then took the floor and formally proposed Srettha Tavisin as the prime ministerial candidate, in accordance with a prior agreement reached among 10 coalition parties. The parliamentary session, attended by 747 Members of Parliament and senators, commenced with a five-hour debate, giving every member an opportunity to voice their opinions.

During the debate, members from the MFP and Fair Party declared their non-support for Srettha. Their stance was rooted in their belief that aligning with Srettha contradicted the popular will and perpetuated a political framework they linked to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). Amidst these differing viewpoints, the voting process began at 10 am and concluded at 5:30 pm.

Amidst the intense debates and varied opinions, Srettha Tavisin emerged victorious with a clear majority. Out of the 747 attending members, he secured 481 votes, comprising 330 from MPs and 151 from senators. However, dissent remained, with 165 members voting against him and 81 opting for neutrality.

In the wake of his triumph, Srettha emphasized his unwavering dedication to the role of prime minister, declining any other political positions, including those related to the economy. He expressed his aspiration to lead the nation through meaningful changes, highlighting his vision for a transformed country.

However, Srettha’s victory is not without scrutiny. His election campaign, involving a proposed distribution of 10,000 baht digital currency, stirred significant attention and raised questions. Srettha clarified that this initiative aimed to stimulate local commerce by providing digital currency to all Thai citizens aged 16 and above. Yet, the sources of the campaign budget and other intricacies surrounding the proposal remain unclear, as neither Srettha nor his party has provided comprehensive clarification to the public.

As Thailand ushers in a new era with Srettha Tavisin at the helm, the nation continues to grapple with both hope and skepticism, reflecting the dynamic and evolving landscape of Thai politics.

Author: phacharaphonk

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