Somsak sees no glitches

House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont expects today's debate on the 2-trillion-baht infrastructure loan bill to proceed without a glitch.

A joint House-Senate sitting will debate the bill today and tomorrow.

Mr Somsak said that a lack of a quorum in the House was unlikely to develop. This was because MPs know their job, not because deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra had ordered them to attend, he said.

Thaksin told a meeting of Pheu Thai MPs via Skype on Tuesday they must attend House sessions on the loan bill and charter amendments to ensure the quorum is met. A charter amendment bill is up for debate next week.

Mr Somsak said the debates would not turn into a commotion if both sides abide by the rules and make their arguments in good faith.

The key point of concern is Section 68 which allows the public to directly ask the Constitutional Court to examine any moves deemed subversive to the monarchy. The proposed change would require such cases go through the Office of the Attorney-General first.

"The public would not be stripped of any rights at all. They could still file a complaint with the charter court but would have to go via prosecutors," Mr Somsak said. "It is a counterbalance."

Meanwhile, the Bhumjaithai Party said yesterday it has yet to decide how it will vote on the 2-trillion-baht borrowing bill.

Party spokesman Supachai Jaisamut said deputy leader Boonjong Wongtrairat's recent comments saying the party would oppose the bill were simply personal opinions. Mr Boonjong said on Tuesday the party had agreed not to endorse the borrowing plan and found its lack of details "disturbing".

About the author

Writer: Aekarach Sattaburuth
Position: Reporter