There appeared to be deep unease between the Move Forward and Pheu Thai parties as parliamentary members gathered for the first time on Monday ahead of the opening of the new parliamentary session by His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthitha later in the evening. All eyes are now on the key figures of the two leading parties and the vote on Tuesday to elect a new Speaker of the House of Representatives.
His Majesty the King formally opened the new parliamentary session on Monday evening in Bangkok amid continued uncertainty as to the state of the Move Forward and Pheu Thai Party pact for government which is due to be put to its first test on Tuesday when a vote will be called to appoint the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. In his speech to guests, dignitaries and members of the new parliament, the King emphasised the importance of honesty and integrity from its members in conducting the affairs of the nation as essential to the continued prosperity of the country.
Thailand’s King Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthitha opened the parliamentary session on Monday at 5.17 pm.
The inauguration was attended by the acting Prime Minister General Prayut Chan Ocha, the outgoing cabinet as well as the Presidents of the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court and Administrative Court.
The Chairman of the Election Commission also attended in addition to members of the diplomatic corps and members of the National Assembly, including newly elected MPs to the House of Representatives and Senators.
Colourful ceremony attended also by the outgoing Prime Minister, the cabinet and members of the diplomatic corps underscored its importance
The King and Queen were welcomed at the Parliament building by the Acting Speaker of the National Assembly, Mrs Pornphit Petchcharoen, the Secretary General of the House of Representatives.
In a short speech to the assembled guests and members of the Assembly, the King emphasised the importance of members performing their duties for the overall benefit of the nation.
‘Now that the election of members of the House of Representatives has been completed and the 2023 National Assembly has been called, I would like to open the National Assembly from this day onwards. May you who are members of the Parliament always remember that you are the persons assigned by the people to represent the whole nation in exercising legislative power, to administer and consider various laws.’
Monarch emphasised that the honesty and integrity of those in parliament was critical to the future of the country before returning to the Dusit Palace
The King went on to emphasise that the success of the new Parliament depended very much on the intelligence and ability of its members in addition to their honesty and integrity to perform all duties by adhering to the interests of the nation and the people.
‘This is the most important thing and everyone should always be aware of this,’ said the monarch.
King Vajiralongkorn said the future prosperity of the country depends very much on it.
The King and the Queen then descended by elevator to the 1st floor and left the building to return to the Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall at the Dusit Palace where the Royal couple reside in Bangkok.
The colourful ceremony with the Royal couple, seated by their emblems and the playing of the royal anthem, provided some relief on Monday to MPs in the House of Representatives who are busy trying to work on a compromise to tomorrow’s vote for the Speaker’s chair.
Thursday’s breakthrough deal appeared on Monday to be thrown out the window as the Move Forward Party touted former Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha
It follows indications on Monday morning that the Move Forward Party was not adhering to a reported deal brokered on Thursday evening and instead was focused on an earlier solution proposed at the end of May to put Mr Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, the leader of the Prachachart Party, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1996 to 2000 up for the role.
This would indicate that the deal hatched on Thursday whereby the Move Forward Party would support a Pheu Thai Party nominee for Prime Minister on July 13th provided Mr Pita Limjaroenrat failed to secure half the votes of the parliament as presently required by the Constitution, was off the table.
Negotiations are reported to be continuing between the parties in the run-up to tomorrow’s key vote on the next House Speaker with tensions running high and essential trust dissipating.