Thai PM Wins Last No-Confidence Vote Ahead Of Elections
PM Prayuth, who is also defence minister and a retired general, has survived three censure motions since 2020.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha won enough support from lawmakers to survive a no-confidence vote in parliament, passing his last major test ahead of a general election due within the next 11 months.
Saturday’s live televised vote count showed the former army chief, who came to power initially in a 2014 coup, had secured the required votes needed to succeed, guaranteeing his place as premier until his term ends in March next year.
Prayuth, a retired general, has survived three censure motions since 2020.
No targeted Cabinet ministers have ever been ousted by no-confidence voting in Thailand’s parliamentary history. Prayuth, 68, came to power during a 2014 coup and was later elected in 2019 general elections.
The coalition government has 253 parliamentary seats compared to the opposition’s 224. Each of the targeted Cabinet members must receive at least 239 votes to survive.
Over the past four days of censure debate, Prayuth was the key target of the opposition parties.
Opposition chief whip Sutin Klungsang concluded that Prayuth’s key failure was economic management.
Prayuth, who is also defence minister, was also accused of spying on political dissidents by using Pegasus spyware, and of misusing the country’s budget.
The opposition also accused Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul of legalising cannabis without proper controls.
Prayuth has defended his government’s record, noting that Thailand’s economy is stable despite rising energy prices and high inflation.
“For the remaining 250 days of the government, I insist that I will do everything to take the country out of the crisis as soon as possible,” he said.
The government has forecast the economy to expand between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent this year, up from 1.6 percent last year.