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Thailand’s PM passes his fourth no-confidence motion since 2019

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The Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-ocha, this Saturday passed the vote on a motion of censure presented against him, the fourth since he took office after the March 2019 elections.

The president and current Minister of Defense, who led the 2014 coup d’état and the subsequent military junta before becoming a politician, won the support of 256 parliamentarians from the broad ruling coalition against 206 votes against, and 9 abstentions.

With this result, Prayut ensures that he will keep his position until the general elections scheduled for the first half of 2023.

Thailand’s parliament, which began debating the no-confidence motion on Tuesday, also voted to keep ten other cabinet members, including Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, in office.

The coalition in power, led by the conservative Palang Pracharat party -linked to the military-, has suffered serious wear and tear since the elections, especially due to the disorganized response to the covid-19 pandemic.

In a poll published at the end of June by the consultancy NIDA Poll, Prayut – who has not yet announced his intention to stand for re-election – was chosen by 11.68 percent of those polled as his candidate for prime minister.

Vastly surpassed by Paetongtarn Shinawatra, head of the opposition party Pheu Thai, with 25.28 percent of the support; and by Pita Limjaroenrat, leader of the progressive platform Move Forward, which achieved 13.24 percent support.

The Shinawatra clan maintains its popularity in Thailand despite the fact that the founder of the dynasty, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (2001-2006), and his sister, former Prime Minister Yingluck (2011-2014), live in exile to avoid justice after both were evicted from office by separate coups perpetrated by the Army.

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