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The Move Forward party will not be part of Thailand’s future coalition government, according to a former ally, the latest blow for the progressive party that won the most seats in the country’s general election in May, the Associated Press reported.
On Wednesday, coalition partner Pheu Thai said Move Forward will be excluded from the coalition because of the party’s proposed repeal of a law banning criticism of Thailand’s royal family.
Pheu Thai leader, Chonlanan Srikaew, added that Move Forward’s stance was a major obstacle for the coalition to secure enough votes to confirm a new prime minister.
Following the May elections, Move Forward formed an eight-party alliance including the populist Pheu Thai party, securing a total of 312 seats in the 500-member lower house.
But Thailand’s military-enacted constitution requires the elected lower house and the 250-member upper house – appointed by a previous military government – to hold a majority vote to confirm a new prime minister.
Last month, Move Forward’s leader Pita Limjaroenrat failed to gain enough votes to become prime minister and his second attempt was blocked by a procedural vote in the legislature, which said his name could not be nominated again.
The progressive group campaigned on a platform to reduce the influence of the country’s military, which has staged more than a dozen coups since Thailand became a constitutional monarchy in 1932. It also vowed to amend the lèse-majesté laws that prohibit defamation of the monarchy, which critics say have been abused as a political weapon.
Thailand’s military and conservative lawmakers oppose Move Forward’s proposals.
The political deadlock has prompted criticism from Move Forward supporters.
It is also causing delay after delay in confirming a new government and prime minister to replace Prayuth Chan-ocha, an army commander who seized power in a 2014 coup and returned as prime minister following the election in 2019.