Coalition party votes checked ahead of last censure debate on current Prayut govt

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha chaired a meeting with leaders of the coalition parties this afternoon (Monday) to confirm their votes at the end of the censure debate, the last one against the current Prayut Chan-o-cha administration.

The four-day debate begins on Tuesday. The vote is scheduled for Saturday.

After reportedly asking each party leader how their MPs intend vote on all the 11 ministers being targeted in the debate, Gen Prayut was told by the Democrat leader that there might be a few MPs who may defy the party whip.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, also leader of Palang Pracharath, told coalition party leaders, however, that he would like their MPs to vote in favour of all 11 ministers, including himself, so their votes will not vary from between ministers.

Opposition and Pheu Thai leader Chonlanan Srikaew has been designated as the first speaker against the government in general, without targeting any specific ministers.

The first two ministers to face the Opposition’s onslaught are Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, both from the Bhumjaithai party.

Ministers from the Democrat party, namely Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, Social Development and Human Security Minister Juti Krairiksh and Deputy Interior Minister Nipon Boonyamanee have been designated for censure debate on Wednesday, to be followed by Deputy Finance Minister Santi Promphat, Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn and Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin of the Palang Pracharath on Thursday.

The final day of the debate is reserved for the three “brothers-in-arms”, Prime Minister Prayut, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongswuwan and Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda.

The Thai Economic Party, which recently pulled out of the governing coalition, will miss out on the censure debate because the debating time allotted for the Opposition parties has already been shared out by the parties.

The party leader, former deputy agriculture minister Thammanat Prompao, said today that, even if the party could not take part in the debate, the party’s MPs will vote in with the Opposition, with only one exception, Gen Prawit, in whom the party could not find any fault or evidence of abuse.

Most of the Thai Economic MPs are dissidents from the Palang Pracharath party.

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