The House of Representatives set a record on Wednesday when a meeting was adjourned after just 22 minutes due to a lack of quorum, stalling consideration once again of the contentious cannabis and hemp bill.
Deputy House speaker Suchart Tancharoen called a quorum check before a vote on Section 11 of the cannabis and hemp bill that was being examined in the second reading.
It took 17 minutes for the MPs to declare themselves present and make the quorum.
The quorum required for a House meeting on Wednesday was 216, following the resignation of Pheu Thai MP Natthawut Kongjandee and Action Coalition for Thailand (ACT) MP Khetrat Laothamatas.
Mr Suchart ended the vote after just three minutes, which prompted Sathit Prasertsak, deputy secretary-general of the House secretariat, to rush to him. Mr Suchart appeared alarmed and they talked for a minute.
Mr Suchart asked if any MPs had not cast a vote and told the House that their votes could not be counted as he had already closed the voting. However, their votes would appear on the record.
He told the House to display the vote result, which showed only 203 MPs took part in the vote. Of the total, 174 MPs voted in favour of Section 11, four against with 24 abstentions.
Mr Suchart then declared the meeting adjourned, saying the number of MPs taking part in the vote was lower than the required quorum. It was the shortest meeting to date.
Meanwhile, Panthep Phuapongpan, a vocal supporter of cannabis-based medicine, said there had been a deliberate attempt to stall the examination of the cannabis and hemp control bill.
He said some politicians did not want the bill passed into law so that they could politicise the issue and use it in their election campaigns. He called on the House to reveal the names of MPs who did not attend the vote and caused the meeting to be adjourned.
Many MPs believe the bill is unlikely to be passed by the Senate even if it clears the House.