MP no-shows kill debate
A Lower House sitting on national reform was cancelled yesterday for the lack of quorum.
House Speaker Chuan Leekpai adjourned the session after a count showed only 231 MPs present 20 minutes after the quorum bell had called them into the chamber.
A House of Representatives session needs at least 244 of the current crop of 487 MPs to be present in the chamber.
The prime purpose for the sitting was to discuss progress on reform plans, which require a report and debate in parliament every three months.
Pheu Thai MP for Surin, Khrumanit Sangphum, asked the speaker for a headcount as the debate began, saying he saw few MPs from the government bloc in attendance.
Mr Chuan paused the meeting to allow time for lawmakers outside the chamber to take their seats, but the required number still fell short.
Pheu Thai MP Sutin Klungsang after the meeting said the opposition bloc would not rubber-stamp reform plans. He said coalition MPs showed ignorance on the importance of reform by failing to attend the sitting.
Palang Pracharath MP Wirat Rattanaset claimed many coalition MPs were attending some 30 House committee taking place simultaneously.