Opposition will walk out when budget session resumes

Opposition will walk out when budget session resumes

Lawmakers debate the 2020 fiscal budget bill during its first reading in the Lower House on Oct 18, 2019. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Lawmakers debate the 2020 fiscal budget bill during its first reading in the Lower House on Oct 18, 2019. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The opposition will again walk out and abstain from voting when the House of Representatives convenes on Thursday to restart the 2020 Budget Bill debate in the second and third readings, opposition chief whip Suthin Khlangsaeng said on Wednesday.

The decision was made at a meeting of oppositon parties, he said.

The nine-member Constitutional Court ruled on Feb 7, by a vote of 5-4, that the bill remained valid despite the proxy voting scandal, and ordered the House to vote again on the second and third readings.

The Constitutional Court was petitioned by both government and opposition MPs to rule on the validity of the bill after three government MPs used the voting cards of absent MPs to cast votes on their behalf during the passage of the legislation in January. 

Parliament President Chuan Leekpai called a special session of the House of Representatives from Feb 13 to again debate the second and third readings and comply with the court ruling. 

Mr Suthin said that on Thursday opposition MPs would sign in to the House session so that there would be a quorum. Then they would walk out, leaving government MPs to proceed with the voting.

He said if the opposition MPs were in the chamber, they would exercise their right to debate the bill and this could delay voting for two or three days. In their absence, the bill could be passed without delay, Mr Suthin said.



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