Prayut sees debate as PR opportunity

Prayut sees debate as PR opportunity

Saksayam protests against ouster bid

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha lifts a girl up in his arm as they make a ‘mini-heart’ gesture during his visit to follow up on the progress of community-based and cultural tourism projects in Muang district of Ratchaburi on Jan 19. (Government's photo)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha lifts a girl up in his arm as they make a ‘mini-heart’ gesture during his visit to follow up on the progress of community-based and cultural tourism projects in Muang district of Ratchaburi on Jan 19. (Government's photo)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to use a general debate to showcase the government's achievements, according to government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri.

He said the PM is prepared to answer the opposition's questions raised in the debate, and he will seize the opportunity to inform the public of what the government has done, including its 12 major policies.

The opposition submitted a motion in late December calling for a general debate on the government's alleged failure to fulfil its vow to implement its policies since taking office.

"The prime minister adheres to transparency, honesty and accountability and always thinks about the national and public interest. He is confident and ready to answer questions on every topic," said Mr Anucha.

Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said the government had fulfilled its pledges, but there are limitations and obstacles that are hindering progress.

The deputy leader of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) said the debate presents an opportunity for the government to clarify and gather suggestions.

"Not just the PPRP, but every coalition party. This is the affair of the coalition government," he said when asked if the PPRP MPs would help Gen Prayut during the grilling.

Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, leader of the United Thai Nation Party and the PM's secretary-general, expressed confidence Gen Prayut would take all the questions in his stride.

"I don't think there'll be any problem. The prime minister has all the information," he said when asked about his role in the general debate.

Dubbed by the opposition "Unmask the Decent People", the debate will be held on Feb 15–16. The opposition is allocating 24 hours for the two-day grilling while the government gets eight hours to respond to the questions.

In other news, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob of Bhumjaithai has protested against an opposition petition seeking his ouster over alleged share concealment.

Supachai Jaisamut, a Bhumjaithai registration official, said the protest was lodged with House Speaker Chuan Leekpai, who will decide if the petition will be forwarded to the Constitutional Court for a ruling.

He said the allegations against Mr Saksayam are being probed by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, so the opposition's move is only an attempt to discredit the party.


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