27 May 2024

Thailand’s House of Representatives meeting collapsed again today (Thursday), as only 151 MPs were present in the chamber, which is 60 short of the required quorum.

Deputy House Speaker Supachai Phosu chaired the morning session, during which ten impromptu interpellations were submitted by opposition MPs, to be answered by relevant ministers, but only two interpellations were responded to.

One of the interpellations was addressed to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha regarding “grey” Chinese owned businesses in Thailand. The prime minister was absent, but assigned Deputy Defence Minister Chaicharn Changmongkol to respond on his behalf, but the latter was not available either.

Pheu Thai MP for Lop Buri, Ubolsak Bualuang-ngam, then demanded a head count of MPs in the chamber, suspecting that the meeting lacked a quorum.

Supachai then sounded the buzzer, to remind MPs to enter the chamber. After waiting for about half an hour, he left the chair, which was then taken by another House Deputy Speaker, Suchart Tancharoen.

Suchart then told the meeting that there are 429 MPs and a quorum requires at least half of them, or 215 MPs, to be present, adding that only 151 were present after the head count.

He said that he could not see how the House meeting could proceed without a quorum and, finally, decided to adjourn at about 1.15pm.

Seven MPs have resigned in the recent past, reducing the number of MPs to 429, according to Supachai.

The seven MPs are Karoon Hosakul of the Pheu Thai Party, Chavalit Wichayasut of Pheu Thai, Apicha Lertpatchara of the Bhumjaithai Party, Srisamorn Rassameererkset and Issara Sereewatthanawut of the Democrat Party, Niyom Wiwatthanadidkoon of the Thai Economic Party and Benya Nandakwang of the Action Coalition (Ruam Palang) Party.