After his initial bid failed, Mr. Pita said he accepted the result of the first prime minister vote in the joint sitting of parliament today and vowed to continue to gather more support in his second bid to become the new prime minister. The next voting is expected on July 19.
House speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha reported the official results of the prime ministerial vote, in which Pita won 324 votes including 13 from senators. Some 182 legislators voted against him and 199 abstained from voting. The total votes were 705. The rest of 44 legislators including top military officers did not attend the joint parliamentary session to vote for a new prime minister.
After one senator resigned yesterday, Mr. Pita needs the required support from more than half of the 749-member of both upper house and lower house or 375 votes to endorse him as the new prime minister.
His eight-party coalition alliance has 312 seats of the 500-member House of Representatives.
The MFP leader needs more support from non-coalition parties and 249 senators appointed during the military rule.
During the debate before the prime minister vote, senators raised concerns over the Move Forward Party’s plan to amend the lese-majeste law also known as Article 112. (TNA)