Opposition warned of protests if they refer to Thai monarchy during censure debate
Thailand’s government coalition parties have threatened to protest if the opposition makes any reference to the Monarchy during the censure debate in mid-February.
Government chief whip Wirat Rattanaseth said, on Tuesday, that he would feel uncomfortable with any reference to the Monarchy in the opposition’s censure motion which, in essence, says that the prime minister referred to the Monarchy to deflect accusations of gross mismanagement and failures in national administration.
The wording used is rhetoric, which should not be used in the censure motion, said Wirat, adding that he has already raised the issue with House Speaker Chuan Leekpai, hoping that the opposition will delete the reference from the motion.
Both the government and opposition parties have been given 52 hours for the debate, with the opposition allotted 26 hours and 24 hours for the government, plus two hours for the House Speaker and his deputies.
The debate will last from February 16th to 19th, and voting will take place on the 20th.
Wirat said that the Palang Pracharat party, the main coalition party, has prepared information and documents to support the party’s six ministers, particularly Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, who is also party leader, when they are targeted in the debate.
He is confident that at least 270 government MPs will vote in favor of all the censured ministers, including the prime minister.
Meanwhile, opposition chief whip Suthin Klangsaeng said they are fully aware of the sensitivity surrounding the Monarchy, but he insisted that the opposition will refer to the Monarchy during the debate while trying to be very discreet and refering to the institution only if necessary.
He claimed that the government has damaged the Monarchy and therefore, the opposition has to talk about it in parliament, even if there are protests by government MPs.