Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is expected to win his fourth and final no-confidence vote in Parliament on Saturday, ahead of a general election next year.
The vote comes after four days of debate targeting Prayuth and 10 of his Cabinet members. The opposition has blamed his government’s economic mismanagement for rising public debts and its failure to prevent corruption.
Prayuth, a retired general, has survived three censure motions since 2020 and is expected to prevail as his coalition government has a parliamentary majority, analysts say. No targeted Cabinet ministers have ever been ousted by no-confidence voting in Thailand’s parliamentary history. Prayuth, 68, came to power during a 2014 coup and was later elected in 2019 general elections.
Asst. Prof. Wanwichit Boonprong, a political science lecturer at Rangsit University in Bangkok, said the number of votes Prayuth obtains could affect the stability of his government and dictate how political alliances will shape out for general elections due in March next year.
“We have to keep an eye on the small parties. I think the votes might fluctuate because of them. This will reflect the stability of the government coalition as well,” he said.
The coalition government has 253 parliamentary seats compared to the opposition’s 224. Each of the targeted Cabinet members must receive at least 239 votes to survive.
Over the past four days of censure debate, Prayuth was the key target of the opposition parties. Opposition chief whip Sutin Klungsang concluded that Prayuth’s key failure was economic management. Prayuth, who is also Defence Minister, was also accused of spying on political dissidents by using Pegasus spyware, and of misusing the country’s budget.
The opposition also accused Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul of legalizing cannabis without proper controls.
Prayuth has defended his government’s record, noting that Thailand’s economy is stable despite rising energy prices and high inflation. “For the remaining 250 days of the government, I insist that I will do everything to take the country out of the crisis as soon as possible,” he said.
The government has forecast the economy to expand between 2.5% and 3.5% this year, up from 1.6% last year.