Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Friday wants to make sure the House of Representatives will no longer fail to record a quorum after only 96 MPs showed up on Thursday.
It was the first meeting of the new parliamentary session to come to a premature end, after the Move Forward Party (MFP) asked Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha to count the number of MPs in attendance.
A motion to do a head count was filed by Piyarat Chongthep, a Move Forward MP for Bangkok, during a joint sitting of parliament to consider forming a House committee to study ways to resolve falling shrimp prices, as proposed by Atthakorn Sirilatthayakorn, a Palang Pracharath MP for Chachoengsao.
Some MPs from the coalition parties objected to the motion, but Mr Piyarat stood by his request.
The speaker then counted the number of MPs based on electronic ID card activation, which showed 96 present. Two others answered a roll call. Due to the lack of a quorum, the meeting was adjourned.
At least 250 MPs are required to make a quorum.
On Friday, Mr Srettha said it is the joint responsibility of all individuals in parliament to ensure that enough people are present to conduct the public’s business.
A meeting of Pheu Thai MPs will be held to talk about the matter on Tuesday, he said.
“This is not supposed to happen,” he stressed. “But I understand if someone has important business to deal with.”
Thursday’s collapse led to a war of words between the coalition parties and Move Forward, which they blamed for playing politics.
A report of the Minutes and Stenography Bureau of the Secretariat of the House of Representatives showed only four of the 149 Move Forward MPs officially in attendance. But the party said that many others, including Mr Piyarat and list MP Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, were in the chamber but did not want to activate their ID cards.
Among other major parties, 49 Pheu Thai MPs were present and 92 absent, along with 9 of the 71 Bhumjaithai MPs, 10 of the 40 Palang Pracharath MPs and 3 of the 36 United Thai Nation MPs.