Speaker says censure debate to proceed despite protests by government MPs
Opposition leader Sompong Amornvivat started the four-day censure debate against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and nine of his cabinet ministers in Thailand’s parliament on Tuesday morning.
He read out the text of the censure motion, until he said “the monarchy”, which immediately prompted a protest from Palang Pracharat party-list MP Paiboon Nititawan, who demanded that the words be skipped, so as not to involve the institution in politics.
House Speaker Chuan Leekpai, who chaired the session, signalled for Sompong to carry on with his reading, noting that he didn’t deviate from the text of the motion.
“Permission granted to allow the opposition leader to carry on with the reading. I have been watching for any phrase which was deleted. I found not a single phrase,” said Chuan as he instructed Paiboon to sit down, saying that it was pointless to disrupt the meeting unnecessarily.
Chuan further said that, since the motion was already approved, the opposition leader is obliged to read the text in full, adding that he will make sure that there will be no deviation from the text.
Before the start of the censure debate, government chief whip Wirat Rattanaseth, Paiboon and Bangkok MP for the Palang Pracharat party Sira Jenjakha consulted with Chuan about the wording of the opposition motion, with reference to the monarchy, but Chuan dismissed their call for the wording to be deleted and ordered the censure debate to commence.