Quorum lack haunts parliament again

Deliberation of draft legislation to privatise Suan Dusit Rajabhat University ended abruptly on Thursday because of the lack of a quorum, the first quorum-related problem since parliament resumed in December.

  • Published: 7/03/2013 at 06:51 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

Government and opposition MPs had agreed that the bill proposed by the cabinet be revised, citing numerous concerns, mainly about the institute’s academic credibility and quality. A vote was needed and first deputy House Speaker Charoen Jankomol called for a quorum check which found 265 MPs were present in the chamber. 

However, Democrat Party MP Rangsima Rodrassami protested that the result appeared to exceed the number of MPs present and asked Mr Charoen to call for a quorum check again by taking a head count.

Mr Charoen agreed with Ms Rangsima’s request but chose to stick to the same method of telling MPs to activate their ID cards. 

This prompted several Democrat MPs to stand up in protest. The deputy House speaker finally gave in and ordered a head count which found only 121 of the 499 MPs were present, forcing the meeting to close due to a lack of quorum. 

Thursday’s failure to get a vote on the bill as a result of a lack of a quorum is the first time since the parliamentary legislative session began on Dec 21. Observers noted that problems related to a lack of MPs, prevalent in recent years, had occurred several times recently, but the chair of the House sessions at the time decided to stop the meeting early before a quorum call. 

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