Opposition plots vote to oust coalition

Opposition plots vote to oust coalition

House debate 'will expose flaws in govt'

Chief opposition whip Suthin Khlangsaeng
Chief opposition whip Suthin Khlangsaeng

The opposition plans to launch a no-confidence debate against the government, tentatively scheduled for Dec 18-20, saying that while it has little chance of winning, the debate will expose flaws in the ruling coalition.

Speaking after a meeting of opposition whips, chief opposition whip and Pheu Thai MP for Maha Sarakham Suthin Khlangsaeng said that the upcoming debate will be different from past ones which focused on suspected corruption.

This time, the opposition will target the government's incompetence which has damaged the country's credibility, Mr Suthin said.

He alleged that the previous coup-installed government's failures during its five-year rule have led to the present government's shortcomings and sparked concerns about the future.

Asked by reporters if the opposition can unseat the government, Mr Suthin said that it has little chance of winning the parliamentary vote, but the debate will "open the government's wounds" and make them known to the public.

Pheu Thai MP for Nan Cholnan Srikaew said that the opposition is expected to table its no-confidence motion to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai by Dec 6.

Meanwhile, the Democrat Party on Tuesday backed its former leader Abhisit Vejjajiva to head a House committee set up to study constitutional amendments.

Previously, Weerakorn Khamprakob, the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) MP for Nakhon Sawan, raised an objection to Mr Abhisit chairing the House committee.

Mr Weerakorn said he did not question Mr Abhisit's qualifications, but etiquette demanded the post be given to someone from the PPRP, the main government partner.

He said the PPRP has MPs qualified to chair the panel, including chief government whip Virat Ratanasate and PPRP list-MP Wichian Chawalit. He said that he himself could also occupy the committee chairman's seat.

Mr Abhisit's name was thrown into the hat when Democrat MP for Nakhon Si Thammarat Thepthai Senpong voiced support for handing the former party leader a place on the House panel.

During the election campaign, Mr Abhisit advocated rewriting the charter, which became a Democrat Party precondition for joining the PPRP-led coalition. However, he resigned as an MP ahead of a vote to select the prime minister.

Prachachat Party leader Wan Muhamad Nor Matha on Tuesday also supported the nomination of Mr Abhisit, saying the panel should have a diverse selection of representatives.

Future Forward Party secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul on Tuesday said the opposition party has a quota of about six MPs for the committee, and that he expects to be among them.

Pheu Thai spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard claimed the PPRP was dragging its feet over charter amendments, saying this was not surprising because it is the party that has benefited most from the present one.


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