Thai opposition to grill ‘shaky’ govt over business woes, pandemic


The opposition will launch an urgent debate to grill the government on issues ranging from Covid-19, economic woes, and “rifts” in the administration, the Pheu Thai party said on Friday.

Pheu Thai leader Cholnan Srikaew said it will invoke a clause of the Constitution allowing an urgent debate on national issues, though it would not include a no-confidence vote.

Under Article 152 of the Constitution, a motion signed by at least 10 per cent of MPs can trigger a general debate to inquire about facts or recommend actions.

Cholnan said Pheu Thai will hold a meeting with smaller opposition parties on Tuesday (January 19) to discuss the debate, which is expected to be held on January 21.

Cholnan said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s coalition government was shaky because the ruling Palang Pracharath was not the largest party in terms of MPs. Pheu Thai won 136 seats at the 2019 election while Palang Pracharat won 116.

Thai opposition to grill ‘shaky’ govt over business woes, pandemic Cholnan accused Palang Pracharath of “stealing” the majority by bringing smaller parties into the coalition, resulting in instability. He said the coalition is now paying the price of its narrow majority as coalition partners squabble for personal gain, signalling rifts in the government. Such turmoil in the administration in time of national crisis damaged the public interest, so the opposition would discuss the issue in the House, he added.