Thailand faces another delay in vote for its next premier

Thailand faces another delay in vote for its next premier

Deferment of premier vote comes after Constitutional Court delays Move Forward Party leader's case by 2 weeks

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) - The vote to elect Thailand's next prime minister has been delayed yet again with no new date in sight, the country's parliament speaker announced Thursday.

The vote was slated for Friday, as uncertainty remains on whether the front-runner Pita Limjaroenrat will be able to be nominated for the role again after failing to get the minimum 375 votes last month.

Wan Muhamad Noor Matha's statement on the delay came after the Constitutional Court decided to defer its consideration on whether a petition by lawmakers to block Pita's re-nomination was constitutional.

The top court, which said it needs more time to deliberate on the issue, would now resume the hearing on Aug. 16, the Thai Enquirer reported.

The latest turn in Thai politics came after an eight-party alliance led by Pita's Move Forward Party (MFP) broke down on Wednesday.

The Pheu Thai Party (PTP) announced its intention to lead the way to form a new coalition and seek a parliament vote to form a government without the MFP.

However, it said the PTP-led coalition would seek a national referendum on a new constitution.

Buddhist-majority Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and the rise of the MFP is seen as a challenge to the royal family, a revered institution in the country.

Pita was the sole contender for the post in an earlier vote in July after he was nominated by PTP leader Cholnan Srikaew during a joint sitting of the bicameral legislature.

However, when Pita was re-nominated for the position, 394 lawmakers rejected the move.

Pita was later suspended from parliament due to a pending case about his shares in a now-defunct media group that he had not declared before the elections, held in May, in which his MFP won the most seats, 151.

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