Thailand does not have a new prime minister after Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat failed to secure enough support from lawmakers in a vote that saw more abstain than go on the record.
Voting halted after 703 votes were counted with Pita securing the support of 324 lawmakers from both houses. A total of 181 opposed his ascension to the top political post. But, notably, 198 lawmakers abstained from voting in a politically explosive moment that will have consequences for weeks to come as Thailand’s future hangs in the balance.
Outside the mood was festive as supporters gathered in a picnic-like atmosphere to watch the results live.
While people expressed unhappiness with the outcome, rain began to fall, and some the crowd began to disperse. Elsewhere, a stage was being erected to hold a protest rally.
Security forces deployed riot police and water cannons in advance of today’s vote in case of mass protests following the outcome.
This is a developing story and may be updated without notice, first published by Coconuts Bangkok.