Prayut dodges opposition questions over flawed oath

Prayut dodges opposition questions over flawed oath

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha speaks during the general debate centred on his incomplete oath in Parliament on Wednesday. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha speaks during the general debate centred on his incomplete oath in Parliament on Wednesday. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has come under fire in a parliamentary debate because he omitted a key phrase in taking his oath of office in July, but dodged opposition demands to explain why he had left it out.

Gen Prayut's failure to speak the words swearing allegiance to the constitution when he led his cabinet in taking office in front of His Majesty the King raised questions about the legitimacy of his government.

Gen Prayut attended much of Wednesday's scheduled debate on the matter but when he spoke, addressed only budget matters and not the oath-taking.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, the government's chief legal expert, responded to the opposition by saying the King had acknowledged the oath, which indicated it was valid because the matter was between the cabinet and the monarch.

Suthin Khlangsaeng, the chief opposition whip and a Pheu Thai MP for Maha Sarakham, wrapped up the debate with disappointment at Gen Prayut for showing no respect to Parliament as he bypassed the oath issue.

"Not only did the prime minister not speak (on the oath issue), but he also told the press that he would not resign and reshuffle the cabinet," he said.

The prime minister was questioned by reporters after he came out of the chamber.

The opposition demanded the prime minister resign over his failure to recite the complete oath of office.



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