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Thai election winner appoints replacement party leader

Published : Sunday, 24 September, 2023 at 12:00 AM  Count : 205

BANGKOK, Sept 23: The Thai reformist political party which won the most seats at this year's election appointed a temporary leader on Saturday, a week after blocked prime minister challenger Pita Limjaroenrat resigned as party head.

Thai voters disenchanted with a near-decade of rule by military-linked parties backed the Move Forward Party at the May poll.

But there was a long political stalemate as conservatives thwarted Pita's bid to secure the prime minister's job and he was suspended as an MP.

Move Forward now sits on the opposition benches after Pheu Thai -- the election runners-up -- last month formed a coalition government with some pro-military parties while property mogul Srettha Thavisin was endorsed as prime minister.

Under current rules, the opposition leader must be an MP.

On Saturday, Chaithawat Tulathon, 44 -- who was previously the party's secretary general --  was elected MFP leader.

"This is a temporary restructure. For legal reasons Pita Limjaroenrat can not perform the duty of opposition leader and be an MP in parliament at the moment," Chaithawat told reporters.

"I am willing to step down once Pita resumes the position as an MP in the parliament again." �AFP

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