6 June 2024

More than 30 senators have expressed a wish to take part in the no-confidence debate against the government of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, tentatively before the end of this month.

Initiated by a group led by Senator Seri Suwanpanont, a motion, seconded by 98 of his peers, was submitted to the Senate Speaker, seeking a censure debate on seven key issues, in accordance with Section 153 of the Constitution. No vote will be taken after the debate, which will take about 12 hours for the senators to speak and three hours for rebuttals by the government.

Economic and cost of living problems will be the key issues for debate by ten senators, who will take the floor to grill ministers in charge of economic affairs. It is reported that the controversial “digital wallet” scheme and the land bridge mega project will also feature in the debate.

Double standards in the justice process and law enforcement are other key issues to be debated, which may include references to the case of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, over his allegedly privileged treatment, and the Agriculture Ministry’s plan to upgrade Sor Por Kor land certificates into transferrable title deeds.

The other issues to be debated include educational and social problems, constitutional amendments, energy problems, foreign affairs and tourism, as well as national reforms.

Meanwhile, opposition parties are scheduled to submit a motion to the House Speaker on Wednesday, seeking a separate censure debate against the government under Section 152 of the Constitution.

Opposition chief whip, Pakornwut Udompipatskul, said that the debate will aim to question the government about the policies, delivered in Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’ statement to parliament, which are yet to be implemented after more than 6 months in office.

He these policies include the digital wallet scheme and “soft power”, action on which remains largely just talk, without anything substantive being done. Constitutional amendments, which were treated as a key issue during the election, have now been moved to the back burner.

He also said that the debate is intended to put pressure on the government to do something regarding issues and policies which have been ignored to date.