BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha survived a no-confidence vote in parliament on Saturday (July 23), emerging ahead in his last major test before a general election due in 11 months.
The 68-year-old former army chief, in power since a coup he led in 2014, won the votes needed to secure his place as prime minister until his term ends in March .
General Prayut obtained 256 votes for and 206 against with nine abstentions. The opposition needed more than 239 of the 477 parliamentary votes to oust him.
The prime minister and 10 cabinet members endured four days of live TV grilling from an opposition that accused them of corruption and economic mismanagement, in a bid to discredit the ruling 17-party coalition ahead of the next polls.
It was the fourth time General Prayut’s performance had been put to the vote since he was chosen by the chamber to remain prime minister in 2019, following an election which the opposition said fell apart. unfolded according to rules designed to keep him in power. General Prayut rejected this claim.
Despite recent opinion polls showing his popularity waning, he was expected to win, according to political analysts, some of whom saw the no-confidence motion as a move by the opposition to support the public before the next elections.
General Prayut gave no indication of when an election will be called.