Dems to impeach House Speaker
Democrat list-MP Ong-art Klampaiboon said on Monday his party will launch impeachment proceedings against Parliament President and House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont after the Songkran holiday for breaching parliamentary regulations.
- Published: 8/04/2013 at 05:20 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
Mr Ong-art said Mr Somsak cut short and ended the joint House-Senate sitting late Wednesday, even though the Democrat Party's motion seeking 60 days for committee scrutiny of the three amendment bills, instead of 15 days, was still pending.
The Democrats failed to get a vote on the motion due to a lack of a quorum in the House, he said.
Instead of considering it at the next meeting, Mr Somsak, who chaired the meeting, announced the motion was dismissed, enforced Article 96 of the parliament’s regulations on meeting procedures in which a 15-day period was given to the vetting committees of the amendment bills, and closed the meeting.
The time frame was adopted without a vote because of the lack of a quorum. This was not enough time to consider the bills, Mr Ong-art said. The process was “incomplete and illegal”, he said.
Mr Somsak on Sunday issued an order to defer further House meetings until April 18 to allow MPs to visit their constituencies during the Songkran holidays. There will be no House meetings on April 10-11 and April 17 as requested by MPs.
Mr Ong-art said Mr Somsak should have allowed the House meetings to proceed and the opposition’s motion to be considered. The sudden adjournment of the session was a failure to properly apply the law.
Mr Ong-art denied a claim by the Pheu Thai Party that the Democrats were employing delaying tactics to disrupt the deliberation of the bills. He said the party had seen an error and wanted to fix it.
Speaker Somsak replied he did not violate any laws, saying his handling of the April 3 meeting was in line with Article 96 of parliamentary regulations, which allow 15 days for vetting committees to scrutinise charter change legislation and seven days for general bills.
He said the lack of a quorum forced him to close the meeting and enforce the 15-day time frame under Article 96.
The opposition could still discuss the issue with the government and senate whips and file the motion again when the House reconvenes on April 18, he said.
The three constitution amendment bills would not be put on the House agenda again this parliamentary session, which officially goes into recess on April 20.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
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