11 July 2024

Thailand’s parliament is due to reconvene on January 20th, after about a two-week break over concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Sukit Atthopakorn, an advisor to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai, said that Mr. Chuan has instructed parliamentary officials to prepare to reconvene and to make sure that strict measures are imposed, to ensure maximum safety for both lawmakers and officials.

The decision comes after parliamentary officials assessed the COVID-19 situation and the preventive measures imposed by the CCSA and feel that it is now safe for MPs to travel and to return to work.

The two-week break, after the second virus outbreak in mid-December, means MPs will have to meet three times a week to make up time lost during the two-week absence, according to Dr. Sukit.

The House Speaker, meanwhile, urged Mr. Sompong Amornvivat, opposition leader and leader of the Pheu Thai party, to submit the no-confidence motion to the House this month or next, so that the censure debate can be held within this session, instead of calling an extraordinary session.

He explained that holding a censure debate during an extraordinary session is not common practice, and will require the consent of both the government and the Senate.

Chuan added that the COVID-19 pandemic will not be a problem as safety precautions are in place.

Regarding the joint sitting of the House and Senate, for which there may be insufficient seating due to social distancing, he said he would have to consult the government over a suitable solution to the problem.