Censure debate plan on hold

Censure debate plan on hold

The opposition members of the House have put on hold a request for a no-confidence debate against the government until after the New Year, saying the timing will be better as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will likely rush to dissolve the House.

It is now too close to the New Year and there are more important matters that require parliament's attention, not to mention the forthcoming Apec Summit, said Sutin Klungsang, Pheu Thai Party MP for Maha Sarakham in his capacity as the chief opposition whip.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit takes place in Bangkok from Wednesday to Saturday.

The opposition believes it should submit its censure debate motion later on, so it will have more time to prepare, Mr Sutin said.

"We will gather more information about the policies and [promises] this government failed to implement effectively, including economic ones," he said.

The opposition expects Gen Prayut will exploit the New Year festival to woo voters by offering gifts, said Nattacha Boonchaiinsawat, a Move Forward Party (MFP) MP for Bangkok and party secretary-general.

The government will portray itself as doing the public a favour even though the gifts would be funded by taxpayers.

The New Year "presents" will include a number of economic stimulation measures, free World Cup 2022 broadcasts and the provision of additional state welfare cards to attract voter support, he predicted.

The giveaway spree is expected to be followed by the PM's announcement that he will dissolve the parliament ahead of the next poll some time in January or February, he said, adding that would be good timing for the opposition to stop him with a censure debate.

In other news, Paetongtarn "Ung-ing" Shinawatra of the Pheu Thai Party is the top choice for the post of prime minister for people in the Central provinces, followed by Pita Limjaroenrat of the MFP, according to a survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted by telephone on Nov 2–5 among 2,002 eligible voters aged 18 and over of various levels of education, occupation and income in the Central provinces in a survey dubbed "right person, right party".

Asked who they would support for the post of prime minister today, Ms Paetongtarn led the poll with 24.8%, followed by Mr Pita Limjaroenrat (16.7%) and Gen Prayut of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (16.2%), while 13.5% said nobody was suitable.

Asked which party they would prefer when voting for a constituency MP, the Pheu Thai Party is the top choice (32.4%), followed by MFP (19.9%), still undecided (13.9%) and PPRP (10.5%).

Asked which party they would vote for in the party-list system, Pheu Thai Party also led the poll with 32.5%, followed by MFP (19.8%), still undecided (14.2%) and PPRP (10.4%).

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