Pheu Thai to boycott new debate and voting on budget bill

The opposition Pheu Thai party will not vote or participate in the debate on the budget bill when it is resubmitted to the House of Representatives for deliberation in the second and third readings on Thursday.

Key members of the party, led by party leader Sompong Amornvivat, met today (Tuesday) and agreed to submit an urgent verbal motion to the House tomorrow (Wednesday) seeking consultations among MPs about how to deal with the bill.

An informed party source said, however, that the party had already decided that its MPs will just sign up to declare their presence in parliament, but will stay away from the debate, if there is any debate at all, and the voting.

According to the source, Pheu Thai core members feel that the party has been cooperative with the Government in enabling the 3.2 trillion baht budget bill for 2020 fiscal year to sail through the House, so the budget can be disbursed, as it is already 5 months behind schedule.

The party blames proxy voting by Government MPs for the delays.

Dissident Democrat MP Thepthai Senpong, of Nakhon Si Thammarat province, said today that MPs should be allowed to debate the budget bill on issues which were not covered in the last debate, adding that just voting on the bill without debate would make MPs look like a rubber stamp for the Government.

Earlier, chief of the Democrat MPs, Ong-art Klampaibul, said he had proposed that the party not debate the bill, but vote for its passage immediately because the budget is so delayed.

Resubmission of the budget bill to the House followed a ruling by the Constitutional Court that proxy voting on the bill did not render the bill null and void, but the voting process was illegal and should start all over again for the second and third readings.

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