Govt crises 'entirely of own making'

Govt crises 'entirely of own making'

Cronyism, power grabs 'spell the end'

The Pheu Thai Party says the government now faces crises entirely of its own making which threaten its downfall.

Pheu Thai secretary-general Phumtham Wechayachai said Sunday the party has monitored the work of the government during the past four years and has found that those in power have created at least four crises.

The first is a crisis of confidence in the leadership caused by the government leader who backtracks constantly on when the election will be held, Mr Phumtham said in a clear reference to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The flip-flops on the election roadmap show the regime is struggling to retain its grip on power after the poll, Mr Phumtham said. A lack of transparency is another crisis created by people and close associates surrounding the prime minister, he said.

The government has been hit with several scandals such as the Rajabhakti Park project, the purchase of a rarely-used airship, and the most recent one involving the expensive wristwatches worn by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, Mr Phumtham said.

Another crisis involves the regime working with legal experts to distort the rule of law to fulfil its political ambition and stay on in power, he said.

The government's performance also faces a crisis, Mr Phumtham said. Projects under the Pracharath people-state partnership programme only benefit major businesses affiliated with those in power, he said.

These crises will undermine this unelected government and eventually lead to its downfall, Mr Phumtham concluded. He urged the public to keep an eye on the government as the people could not depend on state scrutiny mechanisms to do their jobs properly.

Meanwhile, Taweesak Suthakavatin, spokesman for a National Legislative Assembly (NLA) committee vetting an organic bill on MP elections, defended its decision to delay enforcement of the bill, which may result in the election being postponed until February 2019.

He denied accusations the move is a ploy to help the government prolong its hold on power. He said the National Council for Peace and Order's ban on political activities is still in force. Even if the organic bill becomes law sooner, parties' hands were still tied by the restrictions. In light of this, delaying the bill will give parties more time to prepare for the election, Mr Taweesak said.

The majority of the NLA panel vetting the bill last Friday voted for it to take effect only 90 days after it is passed and published in the Royal Gazette, instead of immediately. According to the constitution, an election must be held within 150 days of the required laws being promulgated. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had insisted the election will be held in November. The second and third readings of the organic law will be on Thursday.

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