11 July 2024

The censure debate in the Thai parliament was disrupted by protests from all sides this morning during his speech, defiant Seri Ruam Thai party leader Pol Gen Seripisut Temiyavet touched on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s incomplete recital of an oath during the swearing-in ceremony last March.

Coalition government Palang Pracharat MP Pareena Kraikupt raised an objection, followed by Democrat MP Chaichana Detdecho, who argued that Seripisut’s subject was irrelevant.

Nonetheless, Deputy House Speaker Supachai Phosu, who was chairing the meeting, gave approval for Seripisut to proceed.

Claiming that the issue was important and of public interest, Seripisut recommenced his speech, only to be interrupted by Democrat MP Chinnaworn Boonyakiart, who contended that the oath issue is closed, after the Constitutional Court delivered its ruling, and that House Speaker Chuan Leekpai had made clear that the issue could not be discussed in parliament.

Chinnaworn’s interruption triggered protests from opposition MPs, who demanded the Deputy House Speaker produce evidence of what issues could be or could not be debated, while the former national police chief insisted that it is the right of an MP to speak on the issue.

Noisy protests from the two camps went on until about 11.30am, when Seripisut returned to the floor to talk about the same subject. Mr Supachai, however, who was by then chairing the meeting, prohibited Seripisut from speaking on the issue and ordered him to leave the chamber if he refused to acquiesce.

In the end, Seripisut grudgingly left the floor.