Opposition to file general debate motion

Opposition to file general debate motion

Pandemic, economic woes top list of gripes

Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew
Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew

The opposition will file a general debate motion against the government in parliament over its failure to address a range of pressing issues -- including the Covid-19 pandemic, inflation and economic malaise -- by early next week.

Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew made the announcement shortly after receiving a royal command which appointed him as opposition leader on Wednesday, taking over from Sompong Amorvivat, the party's previous leader.

Dr Cholnan said the first task that he will carry out in his capacity as opposition leader is to call for a general debate without a vote against the government, as permitted by Section 152 of the constitution.

The motion will target ministers which are responsible for a wide array of issues including the economy, handling the Covid-19 pandemic, consumer good prices, to illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, he said.

Speaking at a press briefing attended by opposition parties, he said the motion will be filed by Monday at the latest, before adding all opposition parties have agreed to table a single motion.

Dr Cholnan said he believed Parliament President Chuan Leekpai will allow the debate to take place in the middle of next month.

However, before the debate, which is expected to last a total of 36 hours, the opposition plans to raise a fresh motion specifically to grill related ministers over the soaring price of food items including a spike in pork prices.

The opposition will also ask about the root causes of the rising price of consumer goods and how the government intends to solve the problem, Dr Cholnan said.

As for its legislative duty, the opposition will push for the swift passage of two organic laws on elections -- the Political Parties Act and the Election of MPs Act.

The amended acts have to clear parliament before the two-ballot election system can be put in place in the next general election, which is likely some time this year.

At the same time, Dr Cholnan said the opposition will join hands with civil groups to seek an amendment to Section 272 of the charter, to scrap the Senate's power to co-elect a prime minister.

If the government remains in power beyond its constitutional tenure, it will face a no-confidence debate with a vote as outlined in Section 151 of the charter, he said.

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