Thailand’s Opposition gearing up for censure debate
The opposition Pheu Thai party will hold a meeting of its strategic committee and Chalerm Yubamrung’s ad hoc committee to finalize their plan for a censure debate against the government.
Opposition chief whip Mr. Suthin Klangsaeng said that, after finalizing the plan, the Pheu Thai party will meet with the six other opposition parties to work out a joint censure debate plan, which will include details such as the ministers to be targeted in the debate, issues to be debated and the MPs to speak during the debate from each party.
A no-confidence motion is expected to be submitted to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai in the middle of this month, so that the date for the censure can be set.
As far as the Pheu Thai party is concerned, Mr. Suthin said that 25 MPs had applied to take part in the debate, but the number would be trimmed to a well briefed 10 to 15.
Though former MP Chalerm Yubamrung, a veteran of parliamentary debates, is not eligible to take part in a censure debate because he is not an MP, he was appointed by the Pheu Thai party to head an ad hoc panel tasked with the planning.
Party spokesman Anusorn Iamsa-ard said that the party aims to target five ministers on four issues, namely the junta’s alleged policy corruption, the alleged conflicts of interest of core government figures and the previous administration, nepotism and other alleged historic malpractices.
Anusorn said that, this time, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha must answer the Opposition’s questions in person, adding that the opposition is confident that it will be able to deliver a knock-out punch to the Government.
Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda, a former junta member, said today that he was not concerned about the prospect that he will be targeted in a censure debate. Instead, he said he found the debate a positive move by the Opposition in performing its checks and balances obligations.
Energy Minister and Palang Pracharat party secretary-general Sontirat Sontijirawong said that government parties will meet to discuss the opposition’s censure debate. Acknowledging that there are many parties in the Government coalition, he said that all of them must work together to help the Government.
Ministers affiliated with the Palang Pracharat party, including three former junta members, namely the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and Interior Minister Anupong, are expected to face the toughest grilling.