It may be back to the streets for Move Forward as the nomination of Mr Pita Limjaroenrat in parliament for Prime Minister faces opposition and is unlikely to be carried for the second time. It comes as security and armed police officers were stationed outside parliament together with barbed wire and containers on Wednesday morning as the politicians gathered inside.

Progressive and Move Forward Party protestors are planning to gather at Democracy Monument on Wednesday evening as the tide in parliament appears to be running out in an attempt by the party, which won the May 14th General Election, to form Thailand’s next government and usher in a new era of democratic government and reform.

Democratic and progressive activists are due to stage a demonstration at Victory Monument on Wednesday as it appears that the Move Forward Party is losing the confidence of its eight-party coalition while facing even stiffer opposition in parliament from conservative groups due to the party’s obdurate stance on Article 112 of the Criminal Code which it insists on reforming although there is not a majority in the House of Representatives for the measure.

On Wednesday, as Thailand gears up for what may be a momentous day in politics, progressive activists and Move Forward Party supporters announced a protest at 5 o’clock to be held at the Democracy Monument in the centre of Bangkok.

There is increased chatter in the political firmament signifying that the Pheu Thai Party may be ready to break with the Move Forward as the radical party is becoming increasingly marginalised within parliament because of its obduracy over plans to reform Article 112 of the Criminal Code on lèse-majesté with reports that another coalition involving both the Bhumjaithai Party and the Palang Pracharat Party is ready to take power in a matter of days.

On Wednesday, Mr Pita Limjaroenrat’s nomination was put to the floor of parliament at 9.38 am and immediately opposed by the United Thai Nation (Ruam Thai Sang Chart) Party.

Conservatives do not want to even have a second vote on Mr Pita Limjaroenrat’s nomination for PM although it is unlikely to be carried in any event

Conservative parties oppose the second nomination of Mr Pita based on Rule 41 of parliamentary procedure allowing a motion to only be heard once per session

A vote on Mr Pita is not guaranteed with widespread opposition from senators and the parties of the outgoing government claiming it is a breach of rule 41 of parliamentary procedure meaning a motion may only be tabled once in each session of parliament.

The decision will be made by the President of the Parliament Mr Wan Muhamad Noor Matha.

Senators to the fore as tide favours a conservative fix to install a more mature next government
Thailand is facing a deep political crisis as Pita loses key vote and the top court takes up complaints

On Tuesday, an announcement was made that organisers of the demonstration had moved the venue from outside Parliament to the Democracy Monument because of a rival demonstration which is planned at the original venue by conservative elements in support of retaining Article 112 of the Criminal Code relating to lèse-majesté which has become a central issue in the aftermath of the General Election and political manoeuvres in Parliament.

Democratic coalition of activists to stage protest at Victory Monument as Move Forward is sidelined

The progressive protest is being organised by members of a democratic coalition who are calling for all civilian protest networks to unite at the new protest venue on Wednesday.

It is understood that the movers behind the event, including the radical Thammasat United Front, have issued announcements on social media. 

Attendees at the protest have been asked by the organisers to wear black to signify what they claim to be the lack of respect shown by members of Thailand’s parliament towards the will of the people after the historic May 14th General Election outcome.

In various statements from the groups, leaders are urging support for Wednesday’s action as a sign or demonstration to the Thai Senate and outgoing government MPs that the public will not accept the process underway which looks like it is increasingly sidelining the Move Forward Party because of its insistence on pursuing its controversial policy on Article 112.

Progressive activists seek to avoid conflict

Supporters of the protest describe what has been happening in Parliament since it met last week as an effort to subdue the will of the people although a majority in the House of Representatives and among the public do not support altering the controversial provision of the criminal code.

At the same time, a National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) poll published last Sunday showed very strong public support for Mr Pita Limjaroenrat’s efforts to become the country’s 30th prime minister.

Public opinion solidly behind Move Forward and its efforts to bring about the government which was seen as the ‘will of the people’ after May 14th

On Tuesday, Mr Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, the leader of the 24th June Democracy Group, explained the need to move the venue of the protest because of a conservative-led rally which is gathering in support of Thailand’s revered monarchy. 

Mr Somyak said the organisers of the rally wish to avoid any possible danger of a confrontation between the two groups which would undermine the progressive cause and exacerbate further division.

Police and security services on Wednesday morning escorted the erection containers and barbed wire outside parliament with armed police units creating a very visible presence. 

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Further reading:

Senators to the fore as tide favours a conservative fix to install a more mature next government

Thailand is facing a deep political crisis as Pita loses key vote and top court takes up complaints

Plan is to rally parliament behind the people’s will to elect Pita Limjaroenrat as Prime Minister

Move Forward leader says Pita will be PM despite the rumour mill and some vociferous senators on the right

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