Opposition files censure motion
published : 25 Jan 2021 at 14:18
writer: Aekarach Sattaburuth
A coalition of opposition parties on Monday filed a motion of no-confidence targeting 10 cabinet ministers, including Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, with House Speaker Chuan Leekpai.
The motion calling for a censure debate was backed by 208 MPs.
Led by Pheu Thai, the other parties which co-signed the motion are Move Forward, Prachachart, Seri Ruam Thai, Pheu Chart, Palang Puang Chon Thai, New Economics and Thai Civilized.
Pheu Thai leader Sompong Amornvivat, leader of the opposition in the House of Representatives, led the other party leaders in submitting the no-confidence motion to Mr Chuan.
The 10 ministers named in the censure motion are: Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Chanvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda, Education Minister Nathapol Teepsuwan, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, Deputy Interior Minister Nipon Boonyamanee and Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thamanat Prompow.
Mr Chuan said the motion and supporting signatures would first be verified by parliamentary officials. This would take seven days. If there were no problems, the motion would be put on House agenda as an urgent matter.
The censure debate was tentatively set for Feb 16-19. The exact dates would be decided after the motion was on the agenda, Mr Chuan said.
Pheu Thai secretary-general Prasert Chantararuangthong, a Nakhon Ratchasima MP, said the opposition parties would meet to discuss time frames for the debate.
"The motion belongs to all opposition parties. The debate will cover all targeted ministers, with full information needed.
"Issues for the debate will include malfeasance, actions deemed benefiting interest groups, administrative failures and lack of legality and justice.
"With solid evidence, you can be sure that we will deliver a number of telling blows in the debate," he said.
Mr Prasert said the opposition would set up a debate war room, with representatives from every party, to set and oversee time slots and debaters.
"Although we have fewer votes in the House, we are confident the opposition will win accolades from the people once they hear what we have to say. The opposition will certainly be well organised," he said.
Pita Limjaroenrat, the Move Forward Party leader, said debaters from all opposition parties would coordinate closely to prevent the mistakes in time management made during the last censure debate, when some of the MPs from the then-Future Forward party, were left out.
As a result, the party resorted to holding its own no-confidence debate outside parliament.
Pol Gen Sereepisuth Temiyaves, the Seri Ruam Thai Party leader, called on the House speaker not to side with the government.
He recalled being ordered to leave the chamber, the intention being to prevent him debating Gen Prayut's failure to deliver the complete oath during the cabinet's swearing-in ceremony before HM the King.
He said he would not let this happen to him again.