Pita Limjaroenrat, who led the reformist Move Forward Party (MFP) to victory in Thailand’s May national elections, resigned from his role as party leader on Friday, September 15. Despite his party’s success in the polls, Pita faced obstacles in his bid to become prime minister due to resistance from entrenched conservative factions in parliament. He was also suspended as a member of parliament later on.
Following these setbacks, the MFP decided to leave its coalition partnership with opposition party Pheu Thai, which subsequently formed a coalition government with pro-military parties. The MFP chose to go into opposition.
Pita Limjaroenrat explained his resignation as party leader on his official Facebook page, stating, “I resigned as the MFP’s party leader to make way for an MP who can effectively represent the party in parliament and serve as the opposition leader.” According to current rules, the leader of the opposition must be a sitting MP, which Pita cannot be due to his suspension.
In July, Pita faced suspension as an MP while awaiting the Constitutional Court’s ruling regarding his ownership of shares in a now-defunct media company. The Thai constitution prohibits MPs from owning media shares.
Despite stepping down as party leader, Pita expressed his commitment to remain actively engaged with the MFP and work closely with the people to achieve their goals, regardless of his role.