Abhisit: Proxy claim a joke
- Published: 28/04/2012 at 06:59 PM
- Online news:
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva on Saturday denied a Pheu Thai MP’s allegation that he had asked a colleague to vote on his behalf during a House meeting on March 14.
The claim was part of the governing Pheu Thai Party’s attempt to sow confusion among the public when its own MPs were under scruting over controversial issues, Mr Abhisit said without elaborating.
More important issues were at stake, he said, especially the fact that the government was hastily pushing ahead its charter amendment draft and was trying to use its majority to silence dissenting voices.
The opposition needed to oppose such moves, Mr Abhisit said.
Pracha Prasopdee, who represents Samut Prakan, claimed on Thursday that he had evidence including meeting minutes, photos and video footage, to back his claim.
He said Mr Abhisit was absent when members of the House of Representatives voted on an amendment to the Land Transport Act. However, the Democrat leader's name appeared after a quorum count had been called and MPs had cast their votes.
Mr Abhisit retorted that in the recent joint sittings of parliament, so many government MPs were absent that it was easy to find parking space at the parliament parking lot. However, quorums were still met which was unusual. Parking spaces are usually rare during joint House-Senate meetings, he said.
As for Mr Pracha’s claim that he had evidence to back his allegation, Mr Abhisit said he had seen the material but did not see any irregularities to prove that he had been wrong.
The opposition leader also asked if Mr Pracha could produce evidence to prove that he voted by himself every time in parliament.
He said the Pheu Thai MP’s claim was just a joke that only created confusion among the public and demanded that he stopped playing politics.
Proxy voting has become a hot issue ever since maverick MP Chuvit Kamolvisit released video footage that showed MPs voting on behalf of their absent colleagues.
Mr Abhisit said all MPs and Senators must be examined under the same criteria.
The Democrats were discussing filing a lawsuit against Mr Pracha, Mr Abhisit said.
Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said on Friday that the party would give Mr Pracha until Tuesday to produce firm evidence to prove his claims and identify the person who voted on Mr Abhisit’s behalf, or face a defamation charge.