Dem wants energy minister to be grilled

Dem wants energy minister to be grilled

Govt MPs unhappy over fuel price hikes

Supattanapong: Facing crisis flak
Supattanapong: Facing crisis flak

Democrat MP for Ratchaburi Akkaradej Wongpitakroj on Monday urged the opposition to grill Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow in the upcoming censure debate.

Mr Akkaradej said several coalition MPs were unhappy with the government's handling of soaring fuel prices and hoped the opposition would consider adding Mr Supattanapong to its list of targets.

"Almost 20 government MPs aren't happy with the handling of fuel prices and that is the Energy Ministry's failure. If the opposition grills him in the censure debate, it could be in for a similar surprise as seen with the marriage equality bill and the liquor production bill," he said.

Both draft laws, which were sponsored by the opposition, passed their first reading in the House and won support from government MPs.

Mr Akkaradej said the energy minister should be grilled over the energy price crisis because he told the House that the government could not use PTT's profits from refinery operations to relieve people's hardship as it was against the law.

The Democrat MP said Mr Supattanapong, however, was seeking to have the refineries reduce their margins by imposing the Oil Fuel Fund law.

He said since the no-confidence motion was being examined by the House before being put on the agenda, the opposition should take the opportunity to add Mr Supattanapong's name to the censure list.

In its motion filed with House Speaker Chuan Leekpai last week, the opposition named Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and 10 other cabinet ministers as censure debate targets.

Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin, one of the targeted ministers, recently accused the opposition of submitting the no-confidence motion without the consent of MPs and said the motion was illegal.

Mr Suchart claimed that his name had been added at the last minute without the knowledge of opposition MPs who supported the motion.

Mr Chuan said yesterday the censure motion was being examined and it should be completed this week.

He said the motion would be put on the agenda and representatives from the cabinet, the coalition parties and the opposition would decide on the debate date.

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