Opposition seek PM’s explanation over oath-taking controversy

The seven-party Opposition will submit an interpellation to the House Speaker on Wednesday, seeking an explanation from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha over the cabinet’s swearing-in ceremony last month, which is alleged to be unconstitutional because the Prime Minister did not recite the full oath, as legally required.

In his capacity as the Opposition’s chief whip, Pheu Thai MP Suthin Klangsaeng of Maha Sarakham province, said Sunday that Opposition whips will meet tomorrow to discuss the controversy before moving to question the Prime Minister over the matter.

He said Opposition MPs will ask the Prime Minister whether he will admit that he had erred in not reciting the full oath and what he would do next to correct the mistake.

He warned that, if the Prime Minister refuses to admit to the mistake, the Opposition would press for a no-confidence debate in the government for violating Section 161 of the Constitution.

He said that the censure debate must happen quickly, before the debate on the government’s budget bill in parliament, adding that he expected the censure motion to be submitted to parliament next month.

Mr. Suthin pointed out that it would be problematic if the controversy is not cleared up ahead of the debate on the budget bill for 2020 fiscal year is allowed to proceed and the budget is passed by parliament.

The Opposition chief whip explained that the censure debate was separate from the Opposition’s move to ask the Constitutional Court to rule on the legitimacy of the cabinet as relates to the oath-taking issue.

The Constitutional Court process is lengthy, and he said he would like the Prime Minister to admit his alleged error and rectify it “which will make him look more graceful.”

Pheu Thai secretary-general Anudit Nakhonthap, meanwhile, advised the Prime Minister to address the controversy to avoid an Opposition no confidence motion.

On the same day, however, government spokeswoman Mrs. Narumon Pinyosinwat claimed that the oath-taking ceremony was over and that it is no longer an issue.



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