The Tricky Dance

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Thailand’s Constitutional Court dismissed a petition that challenged parliament’s decision to block the leader of the election’s leading party from being renominated as a prime ministerial candidate, a ruling that could end the political deadlock that began following May’s vote, Nikkei Asia reported Wednesday.

Since May, Thailand has been in political gridlock after the progressive Move Forward party led the parliamentary elections. That vote marked a clear rejection of the pro-military government that had ruled Thailand for the past nine years.

Initially, Move Forward formed a coalition with other political groups, which gave it a majority in the lower house of parliament.

But party leader, Pita Limjaroenrat, failed to garner enough support in the first prime ministerial vote last month and his second bid was blocked by conservative lawmakers allied with the military.

The legislators countered that Limjaroenrat’s renomination was a repeat motion that was not allowed under parliamentary rules.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed a petition to the Constitutional Court on July 24 to ask whether the constitution supersedes parliamentary rules when it comes to the election of a prime minister.

On Wednesday, the top court dismissed the case on a technicality, explaining that Limjaroenrat was not among the complainants, Reuters added.

The court’s rejection was the latest blow for Move Forward, but it could facilitate the formation of a new government led by the populist Pheu Thai party, which came in second in the May elections.

Pheu Thai withdrew its backing for Move Forward after Limjaroenrat failed in his second bid. It has since created a new coalition that is seeking support from conservative, army-backed lawmakers for its candidate, real estate tycoon Srettha Thavisin.

The next prime ministerial vote in parliament is set to take place next week but Move Forward said that it would not support Pheu Thai because doing so would go against the will of the people.

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