Srettha Thavisin elected as Thailand's new prime minister
Srettha Thavisin, a candidate backed by Thailand's Pheu Thai-led coalition, was elected as the country's new prime minister (PM) on Tuesday after winning a simple majority in a parliamentary vote.
Srettha was the only candidate nominated to be the new prime minister during the parliamentary session on Tuesday. After a roll call vote that lasted nearly three hours, Vice President of the National Assembly Pornpetch Wichitcholchai announced that Srettha received 482 votes of support out of the 728 votes cast during the joint sitting of the upper and lower houses, more than the simple majority required for the parliament to approve him to be the new prime minister.
He will be pending formal appointment by Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn to become the prime minister of the Southeast Asian country.
The 60-year-old Srettha, who previously headed Thailand's property giant Sansiri, joined politics only before the election and became one of the PM candidates of the Pheu Thai Party.
Srettha said in a social media post last week that he joined politics in order to help the country's development and its economy, vowing to tackle poverty and inequality in an effort to deliver better lives for the people.
Tuesday's voting result paved the way for the Pheu Thai Party and its alliance to form a new government and ended weeks of political stalemate since the election in May.
The Pheu Thai Party came second in the May election after the Move Forward Party. It initially supported Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat as prime minister, but pulled out after Pita failed to secure necessary support in the previous two bicameral sittings of the Thai parliament.
Ahead of the PM vote on Tuesday, the Pheu Thai Party announced an 11-party alliance on Monday to form a new government, which includes major parties in the outgoing government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.