Chuan confirms Opposition debate on September 18 for just one day

House Speaker Chuan Leekpai confirmed this morning (Wednesday) that the Opposition’s debate over Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s incomplete oath recital will be held for just one day on September 18th from 9.30am until midnight.

He said that the debate could not be extended beyond midnight because parliament was scheduled to go into recess as of September 19th, adding that the debate could not be held on September 16th and 17th because the two days are reserved for the meetings of the Senate.

Commenting on a suggestion that the debate should be held during an extra-ordinary session of parliament, so opposition MPs could have more time to grill the Prime Minister, Mr. Chuan explained that an extra-ordinary parliamentary session could be opened by virtue of a Royal Decree and the decree is normally promulgated for the debate over the budget bill.

The opposition wanted at least two days for the debate and has accused the government of being scared and, hence, has timed the debate to take place just one day ahead of the end of the parliamentary session.

Mr. Chuan added that he has not yet received the Opposition’s motion seeking the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of an executive decree, enacted by the government, to amend a family law regarding criminal investigation into domestic violence.

He said that, if the motion was accepted for consideration by the Constitutional Court, deliberation of the executive decree in parliament would have to be postponed until the Court issues its ruling.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said that one day should be enough for opposition MPs to debate the oath controversy, adding that whether the debate should be open or held behind closed doors is a decision for the lower House.

He said he had no objection to an open debate, provided that opposition MPs are careful that their debate does to touch on the issue of the Monarchy.



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