Censure motion filed, targets Prayut, 10 others

Censure motion filed, targets Prayut, 10 others

Analysts say Gen Prayut will survive the censure debate

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha speaks to the press after the cabinet meeting at Government House on Tuesday. He and 10 other cabinet ministers are the targets of the opposition's no-confidence debate. (Photo: Government House)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha speaks to the press after the cabinet meeting at Government House on Tuesday. He and 10 other cabinet ministers are the targets of the opposition's no-confidence debate. (Photo: Government House)

Opposition parties in the House of Representatives on Wednesday filed a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and 10 other cabinet ministers for debate under Section 151 of the constitution.

The motion was submitted to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai by core members of the opposition led by  Chonlanan Srikaew, leader of the Pheu Thai Party.

The opposition cited the following reasons for submitting the censure motion - that the government has failed in its handling of the country's administration, intentionally violated the constitution and ethical standards, condoned corrupt practices, failed to implement its policies delivered to parliament or to heed objections raised by the opposition, violated human rights and caused damage to democracy.

The cabinet ministers to be grilled in the debate are:

- Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Prime Minister and Defence Minister;
- Jurin Laksanawisit, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce;
- Anutin Chanvirakul, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health;
- Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, the Deputy Prime Minister;
- Gen Anupong Paojinda, the Minister of Interior;
- Saksayam Chidchob, the Minister of Transport;
- Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, the Minister of Digital Economy and Society;
- Juti Krairiksh, the Minister of Social Development and Human Security;
- Santi Prompat, the Deputy Minister of Finance;
- Nipon Boonyamanee, the Deputy Minister of Interior; and
- Suchart Chomklin, the Minister of Labour.

Dr Chonlanan said he expected the no-confidence debate to last five days, probably from July 18-22.

"(He) is a leader that has a flawed thinking, likes to cling to power, does not respect the rule of law, lacks morals and failed in managing states affairs," Dr Chonlanan told the House.

Analysts say the government's parliamentary majority of 253 seats verses the opposition's 208 makes it likely Gen Prayut will prevail.

Stithorn Thananithichot, director of the Office of Innovation for Democracy at King Prajadhipok's Institute, said Gen Prayut should survive as his coalition was still unified, while political analyst Sukhum Nualsakul said the motion was aimed more at next year's election than the prime minister's removal.

Others say the administration's popularity has been declining, highlighted by last month Bangkok governor elections that saw pro-government conservative candidates defeated by a former opposition figure.

Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Gen Prayut had nothing to fear.

"The prime minister is ready to explain to parliament and answers all issues raised by the opposition because the government is confident that it ran the country honestly without corruption that occurred in past governments,"Mr Thanakorn said.

The prime minister, a retired general who first came to power in a 2014 coup, has weathered three previous confidence motions since a 2019 election that kept him in power.


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