Thaksin urges MPs to push bills through

Ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday warned of rising political tension over the 2-trillion-baht borrowing bill and charter amendments.

He urged Pheu Thai Party MPs to commit themselves to attending House meetings to push the borrowing bill and charter changes through, a party source said yesterday.

Thaksin told a meeting of Pheu Thai MPs via Skype that tensions were likely to boil up over the two contentious issues and Pheu Thai should see to it that the House debates would not be disrupted, the source said.

"He instructed the MPs to attend the House meetings and make sure that a quorum is met.

"The Democrat Party is bent on playing a political game instead of working so the government must not play into its hands," the source said.

Another source who met Thaksin last weekend in Hong Kong said the former premier stressed the need for government whips to do their jobs robustly.

Pheu Thai secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai yesterday played down speculation that rising political tensions could derail the borrowing and charter rewrite bids.

He said there was nothing to worry about because the government had followed proper procedures and was able to justify its moves.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday said cabinet members were well prepared to explain to parliament the need for the government to raise raise huge loans for investment in infrastructure development megaprojects.

Ms Yingluck said the loan bill was legal and she had confidence it would be approved by parliament.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong yesterday urged Pheu Thai MPs to help clarify the borrowing plan with their constituencies.

Meanwhile, opposition parties are sharpening their knives for the debate, to be held tomorrow and on Friday.

Bhumjaithai deputy leader Boonjong Wongtrairat said the party will join forces with the Democrats in grilling the government over the borrowing bill.

He said the party has agreed not to endorse the huge borrowing plan and has prepared six to seven MPs to debate the bill.

Mr Boonjong said the party's concerns are focused on the lack of details about the infrastructure projects, especially the high-speed train projects, and the absence of environmental impact studies.

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Writer: Aekarach Sattaburuth
Position: Reporter