Censure motions filed, target PM, 5 ministers

Censure motions filed, target PM, 5 ministers

Pheu Thai Party leader Sompong Amornvivat (right) submits the no-confidence motions to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai in Parliament on Monday. (Photo supplied)
Pheu Thai Party leader Sompong Amornvivat (right) submits the no-confidence motions to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai in Parliament on Monday. (Photo supplied)

The opposition on Monday filed motions of no-confidence in Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and five other cabinet ministers, setting the scene for a parliamentary censure debate.

Led by Pheu Thai Party leader Sompong Amornvivat, opposition parties submitted their censure debate proposal to Chuan Leekpai, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The Pheu Thai leader was accompanied by Pita Limjaroenrat, leader of the Move Forward Party, Pol Col Tawee Sodsong, secretary-general of the Prachachart Party, Nikom Boonwiset, leader of the Palang Puang Chon Thai Party, Wirat Vorasasirin, an MP representing the Seri Ruam Thai Party, and  Mongkolkit Suksintaranont, leader of the Thai Civilised Party.

Mr Sompong said the opposition had found shortcomings and failures on the part of the government during the past year, in particular its handling of the Covid-19 epidemic and vaccine management and economic affairs.

The other ministers to be grilled are Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sri-on, Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin and Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thana­kamanusorn.

Mr Sompong said the opposition decided to target the six individual ministers during several meetings, with emphasis placed on mishandling of economic affairs and corruption.

"We will lay bare the mistakes committed by the individual ministers for the people to see. We are working as a team," Mr Sompong said.

Evidence and documents used in the censure debate would be forwarded to courts or independent agencies for further investigation, he added.

Mr Sompong expected the opposition and Mr Chuan would on Monday discuss the dates and time for the debate, which should be about three days as in previous censure debates.

The opposition had not proposed a replacement for the prime minister, he said.

Mr Pita, the Move Forward Party leader, said the censure debate would be different from the previous ones. The people had been considerably affected by the mistakes made by the government.

"Gen Prayut has lost the legitimacy to remain in office. We will use parliamentary mechanisms to increase pressure against him," he said.

Asked why Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thamanat Prompow, secretary-general of the Palang Pracharath Party, had been spared from the censure, Mr Pita said it was the resolution of the majority of the opposition to focus on only six ministers.

Mr Chuan said the censure motion had been submitted under Section 151 of the constitution. The list of MPs supporting the motion and its content would be examined over the next seven days.

The prime minister would be informed. Consultations would be held with all partiesover the dates and time of the debate.

Once a censure motion has been accepted for further proceedings there cannot be a House dissolution until after the debate, unless the motion is withdrawn, Mr Chuan said.

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