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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Thailand - July 2023

Parliament blocks prime ministerial bid of election-winner

Despite the Move Forward Party's (MFP) decisive victory in May's general election, its leader Pita Limjaroenrat's attempts at becoming prime minister have been blocked twice by failure to garner enough support from the unelected, military-appointed Senate. The senate rejections occurred against the backdrop of two legal actions pursued against Pita and MFP over the past month, viewed by some human rights experts as being politically driven. The Constitutional Court (CC) suspended Pita from parliament on 19 July due to allegations from the Election Commission (EC) that he violated electoral rules by owning shares in a media company. Another case questions whether MFP's aim to amend the lèse-majesté law constitutes treason. Political analysts have criticized the expedited proceedings of the EC and CC, calling into question their impartiality and manipulation by the military-backed conservative elites.

Sources: Bangkok Post, Al Jazeera, Thai Public Broadcasting Service, Human Rights Watch

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Judicial Independence