Prayut shoots down 'opposition', wants 'support'
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has called for the change of the term "opposition" parties in parliament to "opposition and support" so they can give the government cooperation on some critical issues concerning then national interest.
Speaking in his weekly televised address, Gen Prayut said many people were familiar with the work of the House of Representatives that is divided into the government and the opposition sides.
"I invite us to reconsider our definition of these sides as the 'government' and the 'opposition and support' sides, which means the opposition would serve to review and remind the government on various policies," Gen Prayut said.
"However, in the matters concerning national strategy and reform agendas, the opposition should give its support and cooperation otherwise the country will not be able to achieve anything and will not be able to develop in a sustainable manner," he said.
Gen Prayut said politicians and the public alike should change their thinking on the matter.
The opposition should serve to put the government in check in a constructive manner, providing suggestions on the grounds of facts and the national interest.
Successfully doing this will create a culture of reconciliation that is not based on making attacks or trying to win for its own sake and thereby closing off any consideration of suggestions or alternative viewpoints.
Former Democrat MP Watchara Petchthong responded that Gen Prayut seems to be "addicted to power" as he wants to do "a thing that is not based on international practice".
"Gen Prayut does not understand the democratic system," Mr Watchara said. "Supporting the government is the duty of coalition parties while the opposition's task is to inspect their policies and implementations.
"If the government's policies are really good and without corruption, they would have no need of the opposition's support since the public will give them support."