Govt 'could fall' over poll bills
published : 7 Feb 2022 at 18:36
writer: Mongkol Bangprapa
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam on Monday admitted that if the two organic laws on the general election fail to clear parliament, the situation would lead to House dissolution or the prime minister’s resignation.
Mr Wissanu was responding to the reporters’ question about the political implications of the frequent collapses of recent House meetings.
The deputy premier said the two bills are considered important and will have impacts on the government if they are voted down in the House of Representatives.
“If these two bills fail to clear the House, it will lead to either the government quitting or the prime minister dissolving the House,’’ he said.
Mr Wissanu also said that the bills will be submitted to the cabinet for consideration on Feb 15 and they are likely to be forwarded to the House in the afternoon.
He said House Speaker Chuan Leekpai will decide when the two bills will be put on agenda.
Meanwhile, Mr Chuan said government and opposition MPs should work together to ensure a meeting quorum following frequent recent collapses of House motions.
His comments came after two House meetings collapsed last week due to a lack of quorum. It appeared that the MPs were in the chamber but refused to declare their presence when a quorum was checked.
Mr Chuan said the repeated collapses of meetings tarnished the House’s reputation and triggered a debate as to who was responsible for ensuring that a quorum is met.
In principle, both the government and opposition are responsible for making the House function properly. But in the parliament system the government commands a majority, so it must ensure its MPs attend the meetings, he said. Mr Chuan said the charter imposes penalties for those who repeatedly fail to attend House meetings, but there is a loophole the MPs exploit to force the meetings to collapse.
He said the MPs signed in for the House meetings but chose not to declare their presence when a quorum was checked. They were not considered “absent”, he said.
Mr Chuan said that House meetings collapsing due to a lack of quorum is not something new, but has become more frequent of late.