Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is expected to win the fourth and final vote of no confidence in the National Assembly on Saturday, ahead of next year’s general election.
The vote comes after four days of debate targeting Prayuth and 10 members of his Cabinet. The opposition has blamed his government’s economic mismanagement for soaring public debt and failing to stop corruption.
Analysts say Prayuth, a retired general, has survived three rounds of censorship since 2020 and is expected to prevail when his coalition government has a parliamentary majority. No target Cabinet minister has ever been overthrown by a vote of no confidence in Thai parliamentary history. Prayuth, 68, came to power in a 2014 coup and was later elected in the 2019 general election.
Asst. Professor Wanwichit Boonprong, a political science lecturer at Rangsit University in Bangkok, said the number of votes Prayuth received could affect the stability of his government and decide which political alliances will be. shaping up for the general election to take place in March next year.
“We have to keep an eye on the small parties,” he said. “I think the votes can fluctuate because of them. This will also reflect the stability of the coalition government.”
The coalition government has 253 parliamentary seats compared to 224. Each targeted Cabinet member must receive at least 239 votes to survive.
During the past four days of debate over criticism, Prayuth has been the main target of opposition parties. Opposition leader Sutin Klungsang concluded that Prayuth’s key failure was economic management. Prayuth, who is also defense minister, is also accused of spying on dissidents using the Pegasus spyware, and abusing the country’s budget.
The opposition also accused Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul of legalizing cannabis without proper control.
Prayuth defended the government’s record, noting that Thailand’s economy remains stable despite rising energy prices and high inflation. “Within the remaining 250 days of government, I am determined to do everything to get the country out of the crisis as soon as possible,” he said.
The government has forecast the economy will grow between 2.5% and 3.5% this year, up from 1.6% last year.