11 July 2024

Opposition demands for the convening of a special parliamentary meeting, to debate the Thai government’s three executive decrees, related to the acquisition of massive loans to cushion the economic impacts of COVID-19, have been rejected by the governing coalition parties.

Government chief whip, Mr. Virat Rattanaseth, said today that the whips, meeting by teleconference, disagreed with the Opposition’s proposal, citing the ongoing pandemic, and said that parliament is already scheduled to reconvene on May 22nd, which is a little more than three weeks away.

He suggested that the Opposition spend those three weeks preparing themselves to debate the decrees, including those which allow the Government to borrow up to 1.9 trillion baht.

Moreover, Mr. Virat asked the Opposition to consider what would happen if some MPs became infected during the parliamentary meeting, and who would be held accountable.

Democrat MP Chinnavorn Bunyakiat, also a government whip, said coalition MPs will not support the Opposition’s motion, because parliament is due to reconvene shortly anyway, adding that he believes that all the Democrat MPs will comply with the whips’ decision.

Opposition parties do not have enough votes to call for the meeting without support from government coalition MPs or senators.