Student activists call for senators to abstain in PM vote

Student activists Tanawat Wongchai and Sirawith Serithiwat went to the TOT main auditorium where a parliament session is being held, to hand an open letter calling for the 250 unelected senators to abstain from voting for Prime Minister.

Their letter was received by Chonlanan Srikaew and several other Pheu Thai MPs. Sirawith said that he originally wanted representatives from the seven pro-democracy parties to receive the letter, but did not have enough time to contact everyone.

Sirawith said that he is relying on the senators’ conscience. Even though the 2017 Constitution has a transitory provision allowing the senators to vote for Prime Minister, by principle and conscience, it is not the job of a senator. The 250 senators were also appointed by the NCPO, so their votes should not be allowed to distort and decrease the importance of the votes of the 500 elected MPs.

Later, while speaking in parliament, Chonlanan presented the letter from the student group, written on a large piece of paper, while arguing that the senators should not take part in the vote for Prime Minister.

The vote for Prime Minister is scheduled to take place today (5 June). As of 14.30, parliament was still in session. Phalang Pracharat has nominated Gen Prayut Chan-o-chan, and Future Forward has nominated Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit. MPs are discussing whether the two candidates are qualified, and many have argued that Gen Prayut does not qualify since he is a government official.

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