File photo : Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat
House Speaker Wan Mohamad Noor Matha said today (Monday) that Move Forward party leader Pita Limjaroenrat must formally notify the House of Representatives if he does not want to be the leader of the opposition in parliament.
Pita has said that he does not want to be the opposition leader, because his only political aspiration is to become the prime minister of Thailand.
Citing the Constitution and parliamentary regulations, Wan Muhamad said that the leader of the party with the most seats in the opposition will automatically become the opposition leader, but if he or she does not want to assume the role, then the leader of the second largest opposition party, in this case the Democrat party, will take it.
He maintained that only a party leader who is also an MP can be the leader of the opposition, adding that the role is important because he or she will sit on the committee for the selection of members of several independent organisations, such as the Election Commission, the Constitutional Court and the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
Wan cited a previous case, when Pheu Thai was in opposition but its leader, Pol Gen Viroj Pao-in, was not an MP and had to quit, to pave the way for Sompong Amornvivat to become the new leader and assume the role of opposition leader.
The problem with the Democrat party is, however, that it is now without a party leader or an executive committee, after failing twice, due to the lack of a quorum, to hold a general meeting to select a new leader to replace Jurin Laksanawisit, who resigned shortly after the May 14th general election.
Wan also said that there is no time frame for the appointment of the opposition leader.
Regarding the date for Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to deliver his policy statement to parliament, the House speaker said he is awaiting for a notice from the government, adding that parliament is ready to meet on September 8th for the debate on the policy statement.