No need of PM “bodyguards” during censure debate – Dr. Wissanu
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and five cabinet ministers, to be censured by the Opposition in parliament, do not need any guardians because they can fend for themselves, according to Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngarm today.
He suggested, however, that House Speaker Chuan Leekpai should strictly enforce Regulation 69, regarding parliamentary debates, which bars profanity, repetitive statements, reference to the High Institution or unnecessary third party references by the speakers.
He said that some government MPs might intervene if opposition MPs violate meeting regulations.
As one of those facing censure, Dr. Wissanu cautioned that, since the debate is to be broadcast live, MPs are not protected by immunity and they can be sued for defamation.
He assured that all six ministers, including the Prime Minister, are able to defend themselves against the Opposition’s allegations because they have already seen them.
The dates for the censure debate have not yet been fixed, because the whips on both sides are unable to settle on the days. The two tentative timings are from February 18th to February 21st, with voting on February 22nd, or from February 24th to February 27th, with the vote on February 28th.
House Speaker Chuan said that, if the two whips could not agree on the timing of the debate, he would have to make the decision himself.
After the debate, parliament will go into recess.
In addition to the Prime Minister and Dr. Wissanu, other ministers to be censured include Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda and Deputy Agriculture Minister Thammanat Prompao.